Photonz - producing high purity EPA from algal fermentation

The Market

Cardiovascular disease

The global cardiovascular disease ("CVD") market generates annual sales in excess of USD 60 billion and as such is the world's biggest pharmaceutical segment.

The CVD market is currently serviced predominantly by statins which account for approximately two thirds of the market. A multi-billion dollar demand for EPA is emerging through its use in cardiovascular medicine both as a monotherapy and as a combination therapy with satins. 

EPA/statin combination therapies

Statins have been a major growth driver for many of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies. The patents on statins have begun to expire and pharmaceutical companies are seeking ways to extend the life of their statin franchises.

During 2007, the results of a large clinical trial showed that treatment of CVD patients with a combination of statins and EPA had a synergistic, positive impact. Photonz expects statin franchise holders to increasingly position EPA as a combination therapy with statins in order to prolong their pivotal franchises.

EPA monotherapies

EPA drugs have recently entered the pharmaceutical industry mainstream as potential billion dollar products in their own right. The first EPA drug was approved in 1990 but until recently, none of the top tier pharmaceutical companies had marketed an EPA product. In 2007, GlaxoSmithKline acquired Reliant Pharmaceuticals, ostensibly for its omega-3 based drug - LOVAZA. The activities of some other major pharmaceutical companies indicate that interest in EPA has recently intensified.

Photonz product advantage

Currently EPA for pharmaceutical use is principally derived from cold water oily fish which bioaccumulate them through the food chain from the primary source – the microalgae. Given increased demand for EPA and limited supply there is increasing need for a supply of EPA that overcomes the limitations of fish oil and bypasses associated contaminants and pollutants.

Photonz' EPA is not extracted from fish but is uniquely produced by closed fermentation. Photonz can supply high purity EPA, eliminating the risks of variable product quality and security of supply inherent in sourcing from wild fish stocks. Compared with existing methods of production the Photonz method has several significant advantages. It is; sustainable; secure; traceable; consistent; scaleable and animal-free.

Closed fermentation provides a reliable source that does not depend on the sustainability of fisheries and can be scaled to meet demand. Photonz plans to secure a significant share of EPA sales to drug manufacturers on the basis of product consistency and as an "insurance policy" in the supply chain.


  • Photonz receives $2.9 million R+D Grant

    Posted on Mar. 28, 2011

    Awarded under the TechNZ programme, the grant will enable the biotech company to undertake work that will, when completed, allow it to commence commercial production of the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from marine more
  • Photonz successfully transfers process to industrial scale

    Posted on Nov. 21 2011

    Photonz Corporation has achieved a major milestone on the path to commercially manufacturing, by fermentation, the high-value omega-3 fatty acid, more
  • Photonz signs with Novasep

    Posted on Sep. 21 2011

    Biotech company Photonz Corporation has entered into a development agreement with Novasep, a world-class provider of purification more
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