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Welsh start-up to showcase its biotechnology research at world forum for medicine

Marine collagen and hemocyanin extracted from slipper limpets have huge potential in medicine and advanced wound care, and slipper limpets are a new, novel and very cost effective source of these materials. This is the key message Mikota Ltd will be sharing at the MEDICA trade show in Düsseldorf, 12-15 November 2018. 

Mikota Ltd, a Welsh start-up biotechnology and medical device company, is the first company to extract marine collagen and hemocyanin from slipper limpets. It is taking its key products to MEDICA with the aim of meeting potential strategic partners.

This follows a monumental quarter for the company with the signing of an MOU with a large global medical device manufacturer, the commencement of a Medicines Manufacturing grant and a multi-city trade mission to Korea, which has become a key export destination for marine collagen products. These achievements provide validation of Mikota’s value proposition as it starts fundraising for further R&D and commercialization plans.

Mikota is an industry partner in the UCL Eastman-Korea Dental Medicine Innovation Centre, the only UK non-charity company involved, and attended the opening ceremony at Dankook University in October. Mikota’s CEO, Alex Mühlhölzl, also attended the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded UK-Korea Collaboration Conference “Development of Non-Mammalian Collagen Based Biomaterials”, a conference built around Mikota’s non-mammalian collagen Maricoll.

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Based in Pembroke Dock, Wales, Mikota harvests slipper limpets from the Welsh coast to extract hemocyanin for use in anti-cancer drugs and immunology, and collagen for a range of medical uses including advanced wound care, spray collagen, hydrogels, dental implants and cartilage repair. Products Mikota is showcasing at MEDICA include Maricoll, its medical collagen product, and BioCyanin, its new hemocyanin product.

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While hemocyanin and collagen have been extracted from other marine creatures, Mikota’s innovative decision to source them from slipper limpets has opened up an abundant new source. Slipper limpets, an invasive species in the UK, are in plentiful supply, so the products produced from them are cheaper than similar products from other sources.

Harvesting the limpets also has environmental benefits. If slipper limpets take over an area, they can create a toxic environment for other marine life. By harvesting the limpets, Mikota will be clearing the way for a more balanced ecosystem, which includes native oyster beds.

Mikota founder Alex Mühlhölzl explained:

“Slipper limpets can have a massive impact on native oysters, and by cutting their population we can inject new life into oyster beds that have effectively died off. Meanwhile we can extract hemocyanin and collagen, which have a wide range of medical uses.

“Mikota is not just a biomaterials company; we are also developing medical devices in the fields of regenerative medicine, advanced wound care and orthopaedics, with a range of our own products and patents in development.

“Our collagen product, Maricoll, is the perfect material for developing new collagen based devices, as well as directly substituting into present bovine/porcine collagen formulations. Our BioCyanin is a new hemocyanin protein adjuvant aimed at the anti-cancer and immunology and anti-body markets. We are undertaking a range of cell screening and research projects focused on those fields.”

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