Marine biotech group inks deal to get products to market
September 14, 2010By Alison Lee Satake
UNCW’s Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina (MARBIONC) entered an agreement this month with a Cary-based company to get its products into the marketplace and broaden its network.
Ocean Therapeutics Inc. will license and market MARBIONC products for pharmaceutical, biomedical research, nutraceutical and related companies. “It will assist in bringing our discoveries to the market,” said Daniel Baden, director of UNCW’s Center for Marine Science and executive principal for MARBIONC.
The contract, which is the first of its kind for MARBIONC, comes as the not-for-profit entity has received final approval to begin construction of its new research and development labs. MARBIONC will break ground on the new two-story, 69,000-square-foot building this year, Baden said.
By contracting Ocean Therapeutics, MARBIONC will extend its reach to potential clients. “[Ocean Therapeutics] will be able to use their long-term relationships to further our licensing and marketing opportunities, as well as to bring other collaborative partners to MARBIONC. The end result will be further economic development for North Carolina,” Baden said in a press release.
MARBIONC currently does individual product placement on some of its products and tools used by scientists, but the contract with Ocean Therapeutics is multifaceted, he said.
The research program associated with UNCW’s Center for Marine Sciences has developed the substances brevenal and beta-naphthoyl brevetoxin, which Ocean Therapeutics will license. It is also conducting animal toxicology studies to determine their viability to treat cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other pulmonary and respiratory diseases.
“We have seen marine biology succeed with delivering effective and safe medicines, and we anticipate future successful products through our collaboration with MARBIONC and their world class staff and resources,” said Alastair McEwan, CEO of Ocean Therapeutics in a press release.
MARBIONC has been in negotiations with Ocean Therapeutics over the past year, Baden said. The agreement includes other biotechnology initiatives including marketing MARBIONC’s diverse chemical library annotated from its unique collection of culturable marine microalgae and bacteria for third-party research and pharmaceutical companies.