The collaboration between the two Norwegian-based firms accelerate Arctic Nutrition’s plans to develop a marine-based pharmaceutical that uses omega-3 fatty acids as an anti-inflammatory drug.
“Collaborations between local scientific communities are highly valuable to organisations based in the region and the surrounding community as a whole,” says Ole Arne Eiksund, CEO of Arctic Nutrition.
“We are proud to announce the cooperation with Møreforsking and excited to see the results.”
The herring roe forms the basis of a pipeline of pharmaceutical products to address inflammation with Arctic Nutrition looking to target the chronic autoimmune disease psoriasis.
Its potency was the subject of a double-blind exploratory study by Haukeland University Hospital in Norway and the Lipid Group at the University of Bergen looking at the extract’s ability to improve the condition of 64 enrolled people with psoriasis.
The study, which concluded in May this year, is expected to yield a positive outcome that Arctic Nutrition will use to proceed to a clinical study program to obtain EU and US marketing authorisation.
“We are excited to announce a scientific collaboration with Møreforsking,” adds Runhild Gammelsæter, global medical director at Arctic Nutrition.
“They have expertise in marine lipids and cell studies that are valuable to further develop our herring roe extract with scientific documentation.”
Herring roe extract
Herring roe extract is a nutritionally dense raw material that contains high levels of proteins and fats.
Over 70% of the fat in the roe is in the form of phospholipids which in turn consists of high levels of the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Compared to fish and krill, immature herring roe is currently an under-utilised, but potentially important, source of proteins and lipids for humans.
The roe are available in high quantities (in the EU >15,000 metric tons/year) as by-products from the sustainable herring fishery industry.
Like krill oil, the herring roe ingredient claims to offer better digestibility as well as an emulsifying capability in liquids.
However, unlike krill oil, the new ingredient has no shellfish allergy concerns, and potentially can be certified as halal and kosher.
Alongside Arctic Nutrition, other firms with an interest in the herring-based ingredient include Tom Oliver Nutrition products, whose omega-3 supplement is now available in the UK and Ireland.
Further afield, California-based Nordic Naturals also make its herring-derived phospholipid rich omega 3 supplement available to European-based consumers.
Møreforsking conducts basic and applied research for industrial and commercial development in the marine sector; both at the national and international levels.
Located on the west coast of Norway, the research institute specialises in interdisciplinary research on marine resources with expertise in covering the full value chain from ocean to consumer.
“We are impressed by the pharmaceutical goals of Arctic Nutrition and look forward to contributing to their progress,” says Møreforsking scientist Jennifer Mildenberger.
“It will be exciting to address research questions on omega 3 fatty acids and inflammation to support the development of Arctic Nutrition’s marine drug.”