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InterMed Discovery has partnered with the University of Saarland to develop a eco-friendly source of omega-3. The university harbors the knowlege of microbial omega-3 fatty acid production strains.
The concentrations and ratios of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are directly related to the utility of omega-3 in different therapeutic settings. At present, omega-3 fatty acids, particularly those with high levels of EPA, are derived from fish.
According to InterMed, dwindling fish populations and rising demand for omega-3 has instigated a search for more sustainable alternatives. The company also noted that the omega-3 concentration can exhibit significant batch variation. This is also a problem with potential alternative sources such as algae, which generate mainly DHA while the yields for EPA are very low or even none at all.
The microbial strains that IMD has acquired are sustainable sources that generate reliably high yields of omega-3 fatty acids, which significantly out-perform current sources. This source also offers a more favourable ratio between the fatty acids DHA and EPA. This is expected to lead to the development of enhanced omega-3 formulations allowing for outstanding and new product applications for the pharmaceutical, food and dietary supplement industries. As omega-3 is a popular ingredient in skin care and hair care products, perhaps the personal care industry will follow suit in searching for alternative sources for the ingredient.
IMD will lead the collaborative R&D project with the team at the University of Saarland. Financial terms were not disclosed.