Artificial Intelligence: BASF partner with Nuritas on 'next gen' functional peptides

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: maciek905
Photo: maciek905
Ingredients giant BASF will collaborate with Irish start-up Nuritas on the discovery and commercialisation of novel functional peptides using DNA analysis and artificial intelligence (AI).

The first step of the partnership will see Nuritas, a biotech and R&D start-up that uses artificial intelligence and new technologies for the discovery of novel food and health ingredients, grant an exclusive royalty-based license to BASF to commercialise one of its existing peptides.

A second part of the deal will focus on the discovery of new functional peptides, based on health areas that are strategically important to BASF, using Nuritas’ technological expertise and AI platform. According to BASF, peptide networks of focus in the collaboration will be natural, food-derived, patented and of significant benefit to health – including peptides that bring about anti-inflammatory responses.

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“Cooperating with an innovative and agile start-up like Nuritas enables us to further expand our already broad portfolio of health solutions,”​ commented Saori Dubourg, head of BASF’s Nutrition & Health Business.

Nuritas’ unique platform combines DNA analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict, unlock, and validate peptides from natural sources. The company, headed-up by ex-Nestlé regional president Emmet Browne​, was recently given a €3 million EU grant to continue working on an unnamed peptide said to be 'a major breakthrough' for diabetes prevention. The firm also raised over €4.5 million in two rounds of seed funding last year - with initial investments from Singapore-based New Protein Capital (NPC) and Silicon Valley investor Ali Partovi​ and further funding coming from Irish rock legends Bono and The Edge in December last year​.

The new partnership will see BASF will use its global reach and experience to achieve commercial scale-up, formulation and commercialisation of new bioactive peptides discovered through the partnership. François Scheffler, head of BASF’s Global Human Nutrition and Pharma Solutions Businesses said Nuritas bring a ‘truly unique and innovative approach’ – in addition to bringing new ingredients to the table.

Nuritas CEO Browne added that the company is delighted to be beginning a 'long and fruitful' relationship with BASF - adding that its global reach and business acumen will aid Nuritas in its quest to deliver sustainable, and impactful health ingredients.

“As a young, disruptive company this agreement further accelerates our vision of improving the lives of billions of people worldwide through the predicted discovery of bioactive peptides,"​ said Browne. "The ingredients that will be brought to the market are going to be truly life-changing and thus we are very excited to partner with one of the most innovative and far-reaching nutrition leaders."

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