Nuritas – which uses an algorithm-based method to scan databases and unlock currently wasted peptide sources – said the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding would be used for final stage research on the ingredient as well as for its commercialisation.
This will include a series of Ireland-based clinical trials over the next 18 months.
If regulatory approval of the ingredient is secured and the currently pending global patent granted, the peptide will be formulated into functional foods and could be on the market by 2020.
The company said due to its "everyday food origin and traditional food process", the plant-sourced peptide would not need to be assessed as a novel food ingredient.
The firm has attracted considerable buzz since it was founded in 2012, recruiting ex-Nestlé president Emmet Browne as CEO in 2015.
Commenting on the EU grant for the PeptiEUForce project, Browne said this signalled a clear path in the company’s search for peptides.
“While we have a rich pipeline of similar breakthrough peptides, all found from natural sources with amazing scientific potential, diabetes prevention now becomes Nuritas’ first important area of focus, with many more to follow.”
He added: “This peptide carries huge potential to bridge an enormous gap in medical science and act as a major weapon in the global battle against diabetes, now recognised as a full blown epidemic.”
The company declined to give more details of this "significant and supportive" proprietary evidence due to commercial sensitivity.
Yet it told us it was now moving to conduct human clinical trials with the ingredient with aim of applying for an article 13.5 health claim.
Founder of the Dublin-based firm Nora Khaldi said the EU grant confirmed the company’s faith in “data powered by artificial intelligence (AI)”.
The company claims the platform unlocks sources ten times quicker than the typical trial-and-error search process.
Last year it secured $3.24m (€2.95m) in funding from Singapore-based New Protein Capital (NPC) and Silicon Valley investor Ali Partovi, who has invested in the likes of Dropbox and Facebook in the past.
Nuritas recently opened a US office in San Francisco.