Biotec Pharmacon and University of Tromsø extends cooperation to include the MARZymes project

Published 24.09.2010 (Press release)

Biotec Pharmacon ASA (Biotec) and the University of Tromsø have agreed to extend their co-operation to also include the MARZymes project. The agreement will enhance the growth potential of the Biotec subsidiary Marine Biochemicals AS.

The University of Tromsø is one of the world’s leading universities within marine bioprospecting in Arctic areas, and has completed several comprehensive research programs in that area. The research activity was accelerated in 2009 by the MARZymes project, short for “Molecules for the future: Novel enzyme activities from environmental libraries”.

The project, which has a duration of five years and has been granted upfront NOK 35 million by the Norwegian Research Council, is aiming at discovering new enzymes with capabilities for commercialization. The project is organized in collaboration between the universities in Tromsø, Trondheim (NTNU/Norway), and Umeå (Sweden).

The company Marimol AS, which owns the commercial rights to the research results from the MARZymes project, will be merged into Marine Biochemicals AS. Thus Biotec will have an exclusive option to license new products from the MARZymes project, giving the company a wider product portfolio and thereby securing a better platform for further growth.

Svein Lien, CEO of Biotec Pharmacon says: “We have had a close and fruitful co-operation with the University of Tromsø for many years, and strongly believe that the results from the MARZymes project will create new exciting opportunities. This means that we can further expand our activities in Tromsø and strengthen our international market position”.

“Marine Biochemicals has a proven track record in launching novel enzymes worldwide and is therefore well positioned to secure commercial success to our MARZymes project”, says Pål Vegar Storheier, CSO at University of Tromsø.

Marine Biochemicals AS, located in Tromsø, Norway, is a well known supplier of cold labile enzymes to the rapid growing markets for biomolecular research and medical diagnostics. The company will now increase its investment in new products and applications and expand its international marketing, creating further employment opportunities in the region of Tromsø.

For further information, please contact:
Svein Lien, CEO, Biotec Pharmacon, mobile: +47 922 89 323
Jan Buch Andersen, Managing Director, Marine Biochemicals, mobile: +47 4674 6171
Pål Vegard Storeheier, CSO, University of Tromsø, mobile: +47 41441306