Epax Norway AS receives funding to explore new marine fatty acids
Marine lipid innovator Epax has been awarded a grant worth over $900,000 to research the potential of new fatty acids for human health.
Based in Norway, Epax offers a wide range of high-quality, ultra-pure Omega-3 products with different concentrations of EPA and DHA. However, in recent years, it has also focused on identifying, analysing and learning to concentrate less well-known fatty acids from marine oils.
Now the company has received a Norwegian Research Council award of eight million Norwegian Kroner (around 918,000 USD) over four years. This will help it conduct further biological research into the benefits of “new” Omega-3 fatty acids in areas such as brain health, eye health, skin health and fertility.
Epax has already begun collaborations with universities and research institutions, providing test materials for pre-clinical research, with clinical studies to take place at a later stage. The research institute Nofima is a project partner, and the research is linked to an Epax-sponsored PhD, with the first scientific publication due in 2021.
The research will support the wider Epax “Oceans of Possibilities” initiative investigating novel, bio-active marine products. Ultimately, it will also be the foundation for the first products in the new Epax® NovusLipid range, which is currently in development.
Iren Stoknes, Research and Development Manager at Epax, said: “There are thousands of papers and clinical studies demonstrating the health benefits of marine lipids. Most of these have focused on the well-known Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, but there are more than 30 different fatty acids that occur naturally in marine oils. In recent years, Epax has worked to expand understanding of these sometimes overlooked nutrients and to unlock their potential for human health. This award from the Norwegian Research Council is an endorsement of our vision. We’re honoured to receive it and excited to start exploring the opportunities it offers.”
Last year, Epax announced it was investing $35 million to expand capacity, allowing output at its main production facility in Ålesund to increase by more than 50% by 2021.