FREDERICTON, NB, May 6, 2015 /CNW/ - The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) today announced a $500,000 venture capital investment in MycoDev Group Inc. MycoDev's main product, a biopolymer called chitosan, is highly sought after by a wide variety of industries, especially biomedicine.
"Chitosan is an extremely effective coagulant that, when combined with other agents, can almost immediately stop bleeding and promote healing in humans," says NBIF CEO Calvin Milbury, "although chitosan is already on the market, its traditional production method leaves impurities that can prevent its use in pharmaceutical products."
When included in wound sealants, chitosan can stop bleeding in 20 seconds. A injured person with severed artery can bleed out in three minutes. Products that are currently on the market, and approved for human use can take five minutes or more to work.
Chitosan is traditionally made by extracting it from shrimp and lobster shells. Due to some unfavorable characteristics, widespread use in humans has not developed, and is restricted to veterinary applications. MycoDev's patented process produces chitosan by extracting it from a selected species of fungus. MycoDev's product will allow companies to develop products that are safer for human use, opening a market that manufacturers have been striving for.
Fetching up to several thousand dollars per kilogram, Chitosan can also be used as a biopesticide, a preservative in wine, a self-healing polyurethane paint coating, and a fire retardant, among many other applications.
"The world market for chitosan is estimated to be $21 billion by 2015 with medical wound care attributing $3 billion to that total amount," says MycoDev CEO Brennan Sisk, "the $100 million medical wound care market is our primary target."
The company is currently refining its product for use in surgical hemostatic hydrogels and trauma care. NBIF's investment will be used in part for the purchase of production equipment and fine-tuning their production and extraction process in order to meet growing customer demand for product.
SOURCE New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
Image with caption: "Brennan Sisk, CEO of MycoDev says their process for producing chitosan, an ingredient used to stop bleeding, will allow it to be developed for use in humans. (CNW Group/New Brunswick Innovation Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150506_C7283_PHOTO_EN_16289.jpg