15th April 2022
By-products of oil, winery and fish processing have proven to be suitable for a food supplement ingredient with anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic action. The unique method has been developed by a team of Greek university professors, who with the support of EIT Health, has signed a deal with a French company, Pharma Recherche, to produce their solution.
Three decades is a long time. This is how much time Professor Constantinos Demopoulos, Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and his fellow university professors, have spent on the research of an innovative yet simple method that is beneficial in combatting cardiovascular and other diseases.
The method consists of obtaining friction that inhibits inflammation and thrombosis, caused by the potent mediator called Platelet-Activating Factor (PAF). The friction can be incorporated as an additive in various foods or taken as a supplement in the form of capsules or tablets. What makes the discovery even more interesting is that PAF is made from by-products of the Mediterranean food industry, such as oil, winery and fish processing. Since it comes from a natural origin, it is considered harmless.
PAF inhibitors do not only have a beneficial effect in the case of cardiovascular diseases but they may be used in other inflammatory conditions (i.e. cancer, allergies, diabetes) and COVID-19 as well.
“EIT Health’s expert support was crucial”
Having an innovative method, however, is not enough to enter the market. That is why Professor Demopoulos and his team sought support – in the financial valuation of their solution – from The National Documentation Centre (EKT), which is also the EIT Health HUB for Greece. EKT turned to its expert network and introduced Dr. Dirk Grownewegen, a biotech and IP expert, to the research team.
“The path to success requires specialised knowledge, good communication and the utilisation of appropriate networks and business support infrastructures. The way EKT/EIT Health HUB has responded in this case also paves the way for other innovative research teams. It is an excellent example of linking research conducted in academia with production and industry. Without having built an Innovation and Technology Transfer culture and know-how base through the trainings that EIT Health has offered us and without the support of the EIT Health external experts, we wouldn’t have been able to support the research team reach production” – added George Megas, EKT Advisor.
EIT Health Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) is fast-tracking healthcare entrepreneurs in the emerging regions of Europe. As part of EIT Health, we leverage this powerful EU network to give change-makers equal opportunities, while connecting them to global business experts, investors, and government entities.
“EKT’s/EIT Health Hub’s support was something that was missing from the Greek ecosystem in the many years I have been a professor and researcher. We are very satisfied with the support that EKT offered us in our journey to take our patented research outcomes to the production and subsequently to the market. EIT Health’s expert support was crucial in achieving the agreement for production” – said Professor Demopoulos.