Forging a relationship between industry and academia can bring forth successful results, as evidenced by the collaboration between PNT Research and the Bioprocessing and Biomanufacturing Research Centre (BBRC) of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
It is a fact that the world population is ageing. This collaboration aims to set a strong foundation for healthy ageing, resilience and wellbeing so that people can make the best of their golden years.
Working towards enhancing the efficacy of functional ingredients that would aid healthy ageing, a research collaboration was established to this effect.
Also present at the momentous occasion were representatives including the inventor of marine microalgae TetraSOD (Tetraselmis chuii) - Fitoplancton Marino, the world leader in marine microalgae production, alongside representatives from DKSH Switzerland, the world leader in market expansion services and Gelita from Germany, which leads the world in collagen technology.
Fitoplancton Marino director general Carlos Unamunzaga lauded the collaboration, saying, “The industry will benefit significantly from the new on-the-ground expertise in Malaysia resulting from this collaboration between UPM and PNT Research.
“We look forward to strengthening our strategic alliance with PNT Research to push the boundaries of science in delivering health and wellness and we are confident they will achieve great things with UPM, which is among the best and ranked 28th best university in Asia this year.”
The root of the research and development is to address oxidative stress, which is caused by excess free radicals in body cells. These free radicals can damage cells as well as degrade protein and DNA, leading to premature ageing as well potentially chronic conditions.
In response, BBRC head Prof Dr Arbakariya Ariff is heading his team in a study on TetraSOD, purportedly the most potent antioxidant and nutritional marine microalgae functional ingredient and most concentrated source of SOD in the market.
TetraSOD induces redox homeostasis for maintenance of many cellular processes, including oxidation-reduction reactions. It also activates NF-E2-related factor 2 (NrF2) – the antioxidant response pathway in human cells.
Prof Arbakariya comments, “We are excited to work with PNT Research, starting by enhancing the efficacy of TetraSOD and followed by other functional ingredients.
“It will minimise the damage of time and let people achieve healthy ageing, so that they may recover from illness more quickly and reduce the risk of getting a chronic disease.”
Describing this as a win-win strategic alliance, PNT Research managing direct Lee Bin Hao said the partnership builds on a simple yet powerful goal: to make quality and affordable functional ingredient products accessible for people.
“As patriotic citizens, we want to contribute back to the community, starting with TetraSOD. Our work will be built on a foundation of serious science, with the best interests of academia, industry and consumers in mind, ” he said.
According to BBRC associate researcher Dr Fadzlie Wong Faizal Wong, this collaboration, which seeks to address the needs of an ageing population, is not a norm but an extraordinary success.
Fadzlie said, “It is the result of a shared vision and mission to promote, protect and improve lifelong health. We will give our best to deepen scientific and technological innovations to achieve high-quality output.”
Meanwhile, PNT Research scientist Jass Kwa Jia Sim describes the collaboration as a prime example of how academia and industry can work together in enhancing innovation-driven growth.
“More can be done to uplift Malaysia’s scientific output to be on par with first world countries like Japan and South Korea. We all have a role to play in bettering the lives of others, ” she commented.
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