March 16, 2012 — Andrew Ayers, co-founder and CEO of Algae Biosciences Inc., and Dr. Mark Edwards, AlgaeBio’s vice president of corporate development and marketing, both attended the Natural Products Expo West trade show March 9-10 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., helping to staff the Global Health Trax Inc. booth.
AlgaeBio and GHT have a sales and distribution contract in place, giving Vista, Calif.-based GHT exclusive rights to purchase and distribute AlgaeBio’s ultra-pure, omega-3 fatty acid oils to the nutraceutical, food additive, and animal feed markets.
And while GHT’s potential products, containing AlgaeBio’s algal oils, won’t be brought to market for a few more months, Ayers and Edwards fielded a non-stop stream of inquiries for two days at the busiest trade show in the natural, organic, and healthy products sectors.
“The opportunity we have is massive. And our main challenge is getting big fast enough — getting our production up to a scale that is large enough to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Ayers. “We look at Natural Products Expo West as a rather appropriate barometer for the market. That first day we were at the show, we didn’t stop talking until 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”
Later this spring, AlgaeBio will begin large-scale commercial production of its omega-3 fatty acid oils, sourced from marine algae and grown in the plentiful sunlight of northeast Arizona’s high desert plains near Holbrook. The initial output of AlgaeBio’s algal oils will contain equal parts of the long-chain essential fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) at a blended ratio of 40 per cent — and that’s what had the AlgaeBio-GHT audience abuzz at Natural Products Expo West.
“It was a totally new concept for just about everybody — that you could grow two different (strains), extract EPA and DHA separately, and then blend them. That was radical, new stuff, and people loved it. Some of them asked three times, because they just couldn’t believe it,” says Edwards.
The vast majority of competing products on the market contain one of these polyunsaturated fatty acids or the other, and most are purity challenged.
“We’re in a sweet spot, for sure. Some omega-3 products are marketed with trace amounts of one or both of EPA or DHA,” says Edwards. “And the concept that you could have a 50/50 blend — it was hard for people to comprehend.”
With the arrival and installation of the first 200 of AlgaeBio’s 1,500 proprietary bioreactors expected within weeks, and a $5-million, first-phase expansion of the company’s production facilities nearly complete, AlgaeBio is expecting to reach full commercial production of its algal oils during the second quarter of 2012.
Source: Algae Biosciences Inc., algaebio.com