BLUEBIOTECH4PAIN

Biotechnoloy using marine bacteria for the treatment of chronic painEEA GRANTS | PT-INNOVATION-0012

Project acronym: Bluebiotech4Pain

Main goal: Biotechnology using marine bacteria for the treatment of chronic pain.

Project ID | PT-INNOVATION-0012

Designation | EEA Grants 2014-2021 – Programa Crescimento Azul

Call | Nº EEA/BG-Call1/021/2019

Starting date | 2020-10-26

Ending date | 2022-10-31

Goals, Activities, and Results

The Bluebiotech4Pain project aims to unleash marine resources for the treatment of diseases through marine biotechnology: the development of a marine-derived analgesic for chronic pain treatment, through an industrial biotechnological production process.

Previous studies by Sea4Us have shown analgesic bioactivity from a molecule extracted from marine bacteria from Sagres, Portugal. The proof of concept revealed good levels of efficacy in animal models.

This project consists in the optimization of the biotechnological production method of such compound (or of its variants), while maintaining or even improving its bioactivity, leading to the establishment of a scaled-up production method and the design of the business strategy. It is essential for taking the Sea4Us’s analgesic program to market: generate material to perform preclinical trials and engage into a licensing agreement with a large pharmaceutical company, which will then conclude drug development.

The activities of this project include:

Activity 1: Biotechnological production optimization, supported by chemical synthesis; strain and fermentation process development.

Activity 2: Testing produced compounds by electrophysiology and in vivo assays for efficacy, as well as for other bioactivities and toxicity.

Activity 3: Scaling up the optimized production process to a pilot scale.

Activity 4: Filing of patents and designing the subsequent business strategy.

In this project, NOVA Medical School (Lisbon, Portugal) will focus on microbiology and growth optimization, SINTEF (Trondheim, Norway) will work on strain and fermentation process development and scale-up, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway) will use its expertise in bioactivity and toxicity testing, and Sea4Us (Sagres and Lisbon, Portugal) will apply its knowledge of electrophysiology and in vivo assays, and also of intellectual property and pharmaceutical business.