Research and development
oceanBASIS researches marine natural substances in the “ocean biotech” area in order to develop new products for use in medicine and life science, skin care and nutrition. The main focus is on anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-infective effects of substances from algae. oceanBASIS also conducts research on collagen from marine invertebrates for wound healing, orthopedics and skin care.
The sea – the “blue pharmacy” – is becoming increasingly important as a source of active ingredients, as numerous still unknown organisms and chemical compounds can be expected from this habitat. The medium of water, which transports pathogens to hosts with virtually no barriers, has produced effective protective mechanisms and natural products in organisms over the course of evolution. The human cell lives in an environment that is very similar to the medium “sea”. Therefore, the search for new active ingredients for urgently needed therapeutic approaches and drugs in the sea is particularly promising.
With its experienced natural product chemists, marine biologists, biotechnologists and process engineers, oceanBASIS works as a partner with various universities and institutes in different research projects.
Examples of our research results
The bioindustry needs new enzymes to manufacture numerous products. For example, there are now more than 200 enzymes that are used in the production or optimization of foods. But enzymes are also indispensable “helpers” in the chemical industry.
Algae have a great but little-used potential for this, which oceanBASIS makes usable:
– Together with the Institute of Molecular Biology at the Christian-Albrechts-University, oceanBASIS has developed a test kit based on an algal peroxidase, which determines the antixidative capacity of biological liquids, e.g. fruit juices.
– Together with the world’s leading alginate producer, algae enzymes were tested for their ability to further improve the properties of alginate.
– Together with its sister company CRM as well as the University of Applied Sciences Bremen and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Section for Antibody-based Immune Therapy, oceanBASIS is developing an antibody-coupled marker enzyme from algae that can be used in the diagnosis and therapy of certain cancers.
The ocean harbors large molecules with amazing capabilities that exist only there. E.g., the fucoidans; these are sulfated polysaccharides, long-chain polysaccharides that sometimes have anti-inflammatory or antitumor activity, but have different bioactivities depending on molecular size, branching, or degree of sulfation. Extracts containing fucoidan are developed at oceanBASIS to be used mainly as an active ingredient in natural cosmetics. However, another interesting field of application is nutritional supplementation. Multiple sugars from algae can also prevent and even combat Alzheimer’s disease, for example.
But collagens from marine organisms are also interesting biopolymers and superior to collagens from land animals. Collagen is found in jellyfish, which has a significantly higher water binding capacity. This collagen has been extracted and patented by oceanBASIS and added to the anti-aging line “OceanCollagen” as an active ingredient. In addition, oceanBASIS has developed a wound gel and a so-called bioscaffold, a carrier substance for endogenous cartilage cells for cartilage regeneration. The latter is also patented.
In addition to marine biopolymers, other active ingredients that play a role in research and development at oceanBASIS include: the pigments of macroalgae, which include the antioxidant fucoxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids with their important contribution to healthy nutrition; polyphenols, whose positive contribution to health is known primarily from the skins of red wine, but also play an important role in protecting against disease in brown algae.
Marine organisms are a real treasure chest full of bioactive substances. Making these substances useful for human health is the goal of oceanBASIS research and development. Together with its sister company CRM and various universities and research institutes, our company was and is actively involved in various research projects.
Health from the sea with fucoidan from brown algae (EU/Interreg, 2017-20):
As a partner in a German-Danish joint project, oceanBASIS developed a high-performance algae extract in this project. Focus: Bioactivity of the sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan for use in skin care
A gelatinous solution to plastic pollution (EU/H2020, 2018-20).
15 project partners are collaborating to research ways jellyfish can be used to combat marine debris. This is because jellyfish can bind microplastics with their mucogenic ingredients and help to rid waters of microplastics.
Development of an algae-based sunscreen product (State of Schleswig-Holstein/WTSH, 2018-2020).
Algae have substances that protect them from UV rays. How to harness these properties for natural cosmetics was researched in this project. A sunscreen product is now being developed based on this research.