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Biocatalytic production of precursors to lutein and zeaxanthin to address age related macular degeneration

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41EY028482-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41EY028482
Amount: $121,978.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-09-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-09-29
Small Business Information
Genoa, NV 89511-6025
United States
DUNS: 078715630
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (775) 784-6480
Business Contact
Phone: (775) 280-9479
Research Institution
RENO, NV 89557-0001
United States

 Nonprofit college or university

Project Summary
Atrophic dry age related macular degeneration AMD is the leading cause of
severe loss of vision for those over age Dietary supplements containing lutein and
zeaxanthin are recommended by the NEI for those at risk of late AMD There has been
a corresponding growth in demand for these two xanthophylls
Lutein and zeaxanthin are currently sourced from marigolds grown mostly overseas
The purity and reliability of these sources is highly variable A synthetic source for lutein
would ensure quality and secure adequate supplies for the predicted ever increasing
demand for this eye health product However there is no commercially viable synthesis
of the natural enantiomerically correct form R andapos R andapos R of lutein This barrier prevents
the development of a secure reliable and scalable source for lutein Furthermore the
unavailability of pure synthetic isomers prevents definitive experimental studies on their
relative effectiveness
The current proposal seeks to remove this barrier by demonstrating a reliable
synthesis of enantiomerically correct lutein and zeaxanthin The hypothesis is that
highly enantiomerically enriched S ipsdienol or R ipsdienol can be used to
synthesize nature identical lutein or zeaxanthin respectively We have developed an
innovative enzymatic process that eliminates the current prohibitively high cost to
produce enantiomerically enriched ipsdienol Furthermore we will optimize production of
recombinant enzymes used in our process further reducing costs
Completion of this Phase I project will show the practicality of new production
methods for lutein and zeaxanthin This should lead to significant price reductions for
highly pure forms of these chemicals thus enabling further research into their protective
properties Phase II efforts will confirm the bioactivity of our products and confirm that
possible contaminants in natural preparations do not confer the protective effects
assigned to lutein and zeaxanthin We will also seek to expand the potential market for
these chemicals as food supplements Project Narrative
Lutein and zeaxanthin are recommended as dietary supplements for people at risk of
developing late onset macular degeneration AMD The proposed research will
investigate the feasibility of a new method to synthesize pure lutein isomers from
scratch creating both a valuable research tool as well as a potential alternative source
of nature identical lutein and zeaxanthin

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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