Acasti Pharma started life as a subsidiary of Canadian krill oil pioneer Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc, with the aim of developing a krill oil drug called CaPre. Despite successful Phase II trial results for CaPre for improving triglyceride levels, a subsequent Phase III trial (TRILOGY 1) reported a confoundingly high placebo effect.
However, pooling data from TRILOGY 1 and TRILOGY 2 revealed a 26% reduction in blood triglyceride levels, compared to 15.1% in the placebo group (12-week intervention), giving a significant treatment effect of over 10%. Such effects persisted until week 26 of the studies.*
A greater effect was observed in participants taking statin medications, suggesting a potential synergistic effect.
The pooled analysis underpins that health benefits from krill oil can be achieved with significant lower dose compared to other omega 3 sources, said Aker.
Aker has now acquired all the krill-related patents, pre-clinical and clinical data, and processing equipment from Acasti.
Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine, told NutraIngredients-USA that the 28 pre-clinical and clinical studies strengthen provide “compelling data in the cardiovascular area,” and can be used to strengthen Aker’s Superba krill oil in the dietary supplement market.
It also provides an option for Aker to later pursue the pharmaceutical opportunities originated from Acasti, although Aker is yet to decide whether to pursue this option, said Johansen.
In addition to the pre-clinical and clinical studies, the deal includes three patent families comprising a total of 37 granted or pending patent rights, processing equipment for pharmaceutical grade krill oil and all FDA regulatory filings.
The equipment will be moved to Aker’s Houston facilities, said Johansen.
“We are excited to acquire these krill assets that will further strengthen our IP position within krill and also provide our customers with further krill related science.” said Johansen.
“Acasti has over the last ten years spent more than USD 100 million building this portfolio of data and assets, and it represents a significant increase in data, science and knowledge for Aker BioMarine.”
* JAMA Network Open
2022; 5(1): e2141898, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.41898
“Effectiveness of a Novel ω-3 Krill Oil Agent in Patients With Severe Hypertriglyceridemia - A Randomized Clinical Trial”
Authors: D. Mozaffarian, et al.