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New source for glucosamine


Bio-Technical Resources (BTR), a division of Arkion Life Sciences, today announced it is commercialising its technology to produce glucosamine by microbial fermentation, with product availability in the first quarter of 2003.

Unlike earlier technology that relies on chemically treated shellfish, the newly patented technology uses glucose from widely available sources such as corn in what is described as a cost-efficient fermentation process. BTR's fermentation glucosamine product is shellfish allergen-free and will have kosher status, said the company.

"BTR has been working on this process since 1996, and is now in a position to bring large volumes of consistently high quality product to the market," said Tom Jerrell, president of BTR. "Naturally, we are also excited about our capability to bring a related product, N-acetyl glucosamine, forward as well. Our broad patent coverage, both granted and pending, assures we will have unfettered access to these markets world-wide."

Glucosamine is the fastest growing health supplement in the United States, according to BTR, with retail sales expected to exceed $1 billion in the next few years. The product is used to benefit joint health and provide pain relief.

The company added that the National Institute of Health is currently conducting clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of glucosamine on patients with osteoarthritis. N-acetyl glucosamine is used in the health supplement, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

BTR is a research laboratory that offers contract services for the production of peptides, proteins and enzymes as well as product and process technology development based on microbial fermentation and biocatalysis for the pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural, food and feed industries.

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