Roquette Ventures, an investment company supporting pioneer innovations for Food, Nutrition and Health markets, and Advanced Protein Technologies (AP Technologies), a bio venture company developing Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), cognitive and immune-activating ingredients that only exist in human milk, announced that they have signed an agreement to work together on the development of new promising human breast milk components.
Chul Soo, Shin, CEO of AP Technologies emphasized that "This investment from Roquette Ventures confirms the strong interest of our differentiated technology to offer promising new ingredients of human breast milk. Korea is therefore securing a cutting-edge technology for human milk oligosaccharides that will be mainly applied to food and pharmaceuticals. AP Technologies will be able to contribute to the health of the people in Korea through supplying a highly-functional food ingredient while reducing the reliance on imports of these important ingredients. By collaborating with Roquette Ventures, we will expand to export our product internationally and step up to earn a place as a global natural-based food leader in the long run."
Edouard Nuttin, General Manager of Roquette Ventures added “This investment represents an important collaboration for us. As long term strategic partner, we are driven by a strong desire to support pioneering innovations and to contribute to accelerating their development. AP Technologies has a great growth potential and we are very pleased to be part of this journey to better answer Food, Heatlh and Nutrition markets expectations worldwide. AP Technologies’ HMOs will definitily bring unique advantages and benefits to consumers.”
Unlike other oligosaccharides that are available in the market, HMOs are only found in human breast milk. Constituting up to 8% of the human milk with over 200 different types of structures, HMOs have a promising annual market potential forecasted at 2bn USD with projections showing that they will not only be a major part of infant and child nutrition but also be introduced into industries such as general food, pet food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. At present, leading international food companies have already included a HMO in their infant formula and baby food thanks to the various proven direct health benefits. These include brain and immune system development of newborn babies, prebiotics effect that nurtures beneficial intestinal probiotics, and the excretion effect of harmful bacteria.
AP Technologies licensed the production technology of 2’-FL, one of the HMOs, from the team led by Professor Seo Jin Ho in Seoul National University in 2016 based on a unique proven safety technology using Corynebacterium glutamicum. Applying a differentiated robust strain and with an accumulated long experience in the fermentation industry, AP technologies are developing cutting edge technology to secure higher productivity and cost competitiveness.These HMO production technology patents have already been secured in Korea and will be filed in the USA, Europe, China, Japan and India, etc respectively.
AP Technologies is set to receive the USA FDA's General Recognized As Safe (GRAS) certification, an internationally recognized food ingredient safety certification, by the first quarter 2020. It also expects to receive approvals from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the European EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) by 2020 while continuing registration efforts in Asia (China, Vietnam, Thailand, India, etc.), EAEU (Russia), and Latin America (Brazil, etc.).
AP Technologies received its first investment from domestic venture capitals (KB Investment, Stone Bridge Capital, Intervalue Partners, and Maple Venture Investment) in 2018 and built its HMO Campus in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. This will be the Campus that carries out full-scale commercial HMO production and global sales starting next year.
After establishing its position in the food and health industry, AP Technologies will embark on its long term plans of entering the cosmetic, nutraceuticals, pet food and pharmaceutical market with products that generate immune activation, brain development and synergistic effects of the gut microbiome.