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Stem cell nutrition deal establishes Marinova as undisputed world leader in Fucoidan

By Elaine Watson , 14-Jun-2012
Last updated on 15-Jun-2012 at 01:04 GMT

Marinova's certified organic Fucoidan extracts are high purity (>90%) extracts, manufactured from more than 10 species of seaweeds (pictured: undaria-pinnatifida seaweed, credit: Marinova)
Marinova's certified organic Fucoidan extracts are high purity (>90%) extracts, manufactured from more than 10 species of seaweeds (pictured: undaria-pinnatifida seaweed, credit: Marinova)

A deal to supply Stemtech International - the leading player in stem cell nutrition supplements - with one of its proprietary marine plant extracts will establish Marinova as the undisputed world leader in Fucoidan, claims the Australian biotech firm.

Marinova business development manager Kevin Krail was speaking to NutraIngredients-USA after striking an exclusive deal to supply its Fucoidan (seaweed extracts) for use in Stemtech’s new ‘SE2’ supplement.

A potent marine bioactive that has been linked to a raft of health benefits , Fucoidan has been shown to increase the number of adult stem cells in circulation and help them migrate and adhere to where they are needed,  said Krail.

A clinical trial published in Experimental Hematology using Marinova’s fucoidan conducted by the Royal Hobart Hospital and University of Tasmania, showed that it “not only enhanced the release of hemopoietic stem cells but also significantly enhanced the sticky receptor ‘CXCR4’ on the stem cells”, said Krail.

“CD34+ hemopoietic stem cells are the cells that give rise to all lineages of immune cells in the body… [while the] CXCR4 molecule is an important adhesion molecule, which facilitates stem cell migration [helping them get to the places they are needed].

“We continue to support the University of Tasmania and Royal Hobart Hospital on a follow-up study in the same area.”

Asian markets are ahead of the curve on stem cell nutrition

Stem cell nutrition has the potential to grow significantly over the next decade as more trials are conducted and consumer awareness rises, he predicted.

“From our perspective, there will likely be a huge market developing in the next 10 years.

“The Asian countries that recognize Fucoidan health benefits; Japan, Taiwan, Korea and to a lesser extent, China, are already aware of the connection here.  

“We take quite a few ‘stem cell’ enquiries from supplement and ingredient companies in Asia. We decided to partner exclusively with Stemtech as they have done quality clinical research on AFA and now with our proprietary Fucoidan ingredient.

“Very few Asian supplement companies are willing to commit to this, preferring to reference any studies on the topic, which have little to no connection with the ingredients they are using in their supplement.”

Deal with Stemtech makes Marinova largest fucoidan manufacturer in the world

The supply agreement with Stemtech “establishes Marinova as the largest fucoidan manufacturer in the world”, claimed Krail.

“Their previous StemEnhance product was a global best-seller and the new SE2, which will replace StemEnhance in all markets once gaining regulatory approval, will just add to Stemtech International’s very high growth rate. 

“Marinova was prepared for such a large supply contract as we had made significant capital investment in June/July 2011 to double our output capacity. This allows us to service the Stemtech volume, look after current customers and take on other new customers.”

He added: “There are not that many suppliers of Fucoidan extract concentrates. Marinova is the only global supplier that is certified organic - using a proprietary cold water extraction method that uses no solvents.

“In addition, we are the world’s leader in Fucoidan science and chemical analysis. We have been testing our specific Fucoidan extracts in numerous clinical trials over the past eight years.”

Could Fucoidan be the next big thing in joint health?

While fucoidans are relatively new entrants to the US supplements market, there is a small but growing body of science about their benefits relating to joint health, anti-viral activity and cancer research as well as stem cell modulation, said Krail.

After a small study at Southern Cross University in New South Wales (click here ) showed that supplementation with Marinova’s fucoidan could provide relief for knee osteoarthritis sufferers more quickly and effectively than glucosamine/chondroitin, a much larger trial had recently been completed, he said.

This has yet to be published, he said. “We are still assessing all the data.”

Meanwhile, the University of Tasmania and Royal Hobart Hospital has just started a trial exploring whether Fucoidan has any impact on the circulating levels of common chemotherapy drugs in breast cancer patients, he said.

“In addition, the trial will also assess positive impacts including the potential for cytokine reductions, pain reduction and other longer term outcomes.”

Click here  to read a review of research into Fucoidan conducted by Marinova’s chief scientist Dr Helen Fitton (published last year in the journal Marine Drugs).

Click here to read our interview with Stemtech International CEO Ray Carter on the potential of stem cell nutrition.

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