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Synthetic Genomics, Avoca Ink Deal for Natural Astaxanthin

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Avoca and Synthetic Genomics today announced a supply agreement to extract and commercialize natural astaxanthin from algae strains developed by SGI.

The agreement also gives Avoca the exclusive rights to sell in North America products based on SGI-produced astaxanthin. Avoca's parent firm, Pharmachem Laboratories, will market and sell the products.

Natural astaxanthin is a supplement with health benefits associated with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Avoca said. However, the difficult nature of producing the supplement has meant supplies of it have fallen short of demand.

SGI has developed a production process for natural astaxanthin from a phototropic source and has shown capabilities to manufacture it on a commercial scale. Products covered by the deal are being developed by SGI's Genovia Bio business unit, which has responsibility for developing and commercializing algal-based food, chemical, and fuel products.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.