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Microphyt raises €28.5 million to develop its range of microalgae-based products.

“With this funding, we will speed up the development and supply of novel natural products that solve the key challenges of nutrition and wellbeing.”

Biotechnology company Microphyt has raised €28.5 million to commercialise its range of microalgae-based nutritional and cosmetic products.

According to the France-based company, this investment was co-led by venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance, through the “Sociétés de Projets Industriels” fund, together with IXO-Private Equity and Sofilaro.

Over the next 18 months, Microphyt (@Microphyt) will use the money to beef up its workforce and industrial capacity in preparation for pushing its microalgal food ingredients and cosmetics to market.

Since 2009, the company has been developing technology to overcome a common problem with culturing microalgae, specifically that many species of microalgae are too delicate for the mechanical stress of industrial production, limiting the types of microalgae and molecules one can produce.

Microphyt’s patented process, developed in-house, solves the usual drawbacks of microalgae production, according to the company. It is based on 5,000-litre tubular photobioreactors, which offer both high differentiation potential (access to a new diversity of species) and the ability to supply natural active ingredients in an industrial and standardised way.

This technology, operated within an industrial production platform, has already made it possible to establish several commercial partnerships with key players in the sector, Microphyt said.

Microphyt has also said it has launched new products that contribute to “improving the wellbeing of the elderly, preventing certain metabolic disorders, facilitating an active lifestyle and protecting the skin from various stresses”.

A portfolio of ten nutritional active ingredients and 20 cosmetic active and functional ingredients are being developed.

“This new round is a major milestone in our development and we are pleased that recognised investors in the sector such as Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance are joining us alongside our existing investors to accelerate our development and internationalisation,” said Vincent Usache, CEO of Microphyt.

He added: “For several years now, Microphyt was actively committed to unlocking the full potential of microalgae’s amazing diversity through our unique technology platform. With this funding, we will speed up the development and supply of novel natural products that solve the key challenges of nutrition and wellbeing.”

“Microphyt is exactly the type of company that Sofinnova Partners is looking for as a pioneering investor in industrial biotechnology: thanks to its proprietary technology platform and unique production capacity that allows access to the exceptional biodiversity of microalgae, the company is in an ideal position to become one of the world leaders in natural ingredients dedicated to nutrition and well-being,” said Denis Lucquin, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners.

Josko Bobanovic, Partner at Sofinnova Partners is a confirmed speaker at SynBio Markets (Berlin, 18-19 November 2019) where he will be discussing the current investment trends around synthetic biology.

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