New chairman for Mikota

Pembroke Dock-based biotechnology and medical device company Mikota has appointed a new chairman.

Insider Media has reported that Dr Stewart White, the founding chief executive of Glasgow-based Collagen Solutions plc and most recently its chief strategy officer, has been appointed.

Founded in 2014 by Alex Mühlhölzl, David Evans and Dr Christopher Coates, Mikota started trading in 2017 when it raised early stage seed investment and grant funding from PLANED (LEADER), the Sustainable Development Fund and Innovate UK. The grants are funding the development of two products; Maricoll and BioCyanin. Maricoll is the world’s first marine collagen that is thermally stable in its native form, in the mammalian collagen temperature range. BioCyanin is a new and novel hemocyanin for the protein adjuvant, anti-cancer and immunology markets.

Alex Mühlhölzl said “The addition of Stewart to the board as chairman, is a significant boost to the company’s development. His experience and knowledge are assets that will ensure Mikota identifies and targets the most lucrative and high value market segments of the biomaterials and medical device markets. Collagen Solutions is an industry partner and we are collaborating on several product developments, so Stewart already has a detailed understanding of Mikota’s aims and unique strengths. His scientific expertise and strong business background will be invaluable as Mikota’s work progresses.”

Mikota has offices and lab facilities in Pembrokeshire, with research collaboration and manufacture being undertaken with industry partner Collagen Solutions in Glasgow.

BQ has reported that Mikota will launch its two key products at the Medica trade show in Düsseldorf next month. It will also be giving away $500,000 worth of promotional products to researchers and companies interested in their use or development.

Mikota is harvesting slipper limpets from the Welsh coast and extracting their blood and purifying out hemocyanin for use as a protein adjuvant for the anti-cancer and immunology markets. The company is also extracting collagen from the limpets, making a range of products including solubilised, powder, sponge and fibrillar collagen. These collagen products can be used in a wide range of applications and medical devices, with uses including breast, bone and nerve reconstruction. While hemocyanin has been extracted from other marine creatures, this is the first time that slipper limpets have been used in this way.

Harvesting the limpets also has environmental benefits. If slipper limpets colonise an area, they can create a toxic environment for other marine life. By developing a wide range of products that require volume harvesting of the limpets, Mikota will be clearing the way for a more balanced ecosystem, which includes reclaiming native oyster beds.

Alex Mühlhölzl said “Slipper limpets can have a massive negative impact on the marine environment especially native oyster beds. By reducing their population we can inject new life into native oyster beds that have effectively died off and those that are under increasing pressure. This is another bonus of targeting invasive species. So, while we don’t directly get all the benefits, we can help other businesses improve and grow over time, which is the basis for one of the projects we are developing in Cornwall. Mikota is not just a biomaterials company; we are also developing a range of medical devices in the fields of regenerative medicine, advanced wound care, transected nerve repair and mastectomy/breast reconstruction, with a range of our own products and patents in development.

“With its thermal stability our collagen product, Maricoll, is the perfect material for developing new collagen based devices, as well as directly substituting into present bovine/porcine collagen formulations. Our hemocyanin, BioCyanin SLH, is a new protein adjuvant aimed at the high value anti-cancer and immunology markets. We are also planning to undertake a range of cell screening and research projects focused on those fields. We believe in our products and want to form partnership and collaborations. We are already working with Cardiff University and Collagen Solutions plc, our industry partner, and welcome approaches from anyone interested in using our products in research or collaborative projects.”

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