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UPEI Discovers Renewable Source For Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

You can do wonderful things with bacteria. Just ask the people at Three Oaks Innovations Inc. Three Oaks Innovations Inc. is the commercialization arm of UPEI, an independent company whose mandate is to manage the transfer of UPEI technology and intellectual property to industry and help bring great ideas to market.

“It really has been an exciting year for innovation at UPEI,” says Sophie Theriault, Managing Director of Three Oaks Innovations Inc. “There is always something new here. I work with university researchers who have developed technology that has potential in the marketplace, and I work with industries that are looking for technology in which to invest or license. Three Oaks Innovations helps bring some of those ideas and technologies into the marketplace. People are really starting to notice.”

One of its recent projects, undertaken with UPEI and Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc., involves the development of a renewable, sustainable source for the development of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Research Leads to Discovery of Renewable, Sustainable Source for Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Dr. Russ Kerr, CEO of Nautilus Biosciences Canada and Canada Research Chair of Marine Natural Products at UPEI, diving for coral from which bacteria can be derived that can have anti-inflammatory properties.

“The problem with many anti-inflammatories is that they don’t have a renewable, sustainable source,” explains Dr. Russ Kerr, CEO of Nautilus Biosciences Canada and Canada Research Chair in Marine Natural Products at UPEI, which is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). “We’re hoping this project will solve that problem.”

Dr. Kerr studied the bioactive compounds of coral and found that the more useful compounds were in the bacteria that grew on the coral. These bacteria seem to have anti-inflammatory properties. With support from Three Oaks and NSERC, Dr. Kerr and his team are at work right now developing the bacteria for commercial production.

“Three Oaks Innovations has been instrumental in developing a licensing agreement between UPEI and Nautilus,” says Dr. Kerr. “It gives Nautilus access to patented technology developed at UPEI. The licensing of this patent is a key milestone for the university and for Nautilus.”