SBIR Phase II: An Innovative Photobioreactor for Commercial Production of Astaxanthin from Genetically Improved Haematococcus Pluvialis Strains

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0724411
Agency Tracking Number: 0610926
Amount: $499,866.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-605
Small Business Information
3488 Bramlet, Mailbox 201, Clemmons, NC, 27012
DUNS: 148076396
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Fan Lu
 (336) 577-4354
Business Contact
 Fan Lu
Title: PhD
Phone: (336) 577-4354
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II reserach develops an innovative biotechnology for commercial production of natural astaxanthin using genetically improved microalgal strain(s) grown in a proprietary large-scale photobioreactor, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new strains in improving bioavailability of astaxanthin. The proposed R&D efforts aim to overcome the major weakness inherent in the present production of astaxanthin-enriched Haematococcus: poor bioavailability of astaxanthin for humans and animals. The company will use several genetically modified Haematococcus strains with remarkably improved bioavailability of astaxanthin. The major objectives of the Phase II research are to design, construct, and evaluate an innovative large-scale photobioreactor system for sustainable mass culture of these new strains. The improved production system will increase astaxanthin productivity by 1.5- to 2-fold with at least 30% cost reduction. The broader impacts of this technology will be to overcome two major hurdles for the Haematococcus-based astaxanthin industry. The application of this biotechnology will lead to major increases in astaxanthin sales by 2015. It will also result in job expansion in the Haematococcus-astaxanthin production and related industries (e.g., cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical). Reduction in the production costs will lead to decreasing prices, making astaxanthin more affordable to allow more people to take advantage of astaxanthin as a strong antioxidant for improving health and well-being.

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

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