Bioglane, a spin-off from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC), located also in Barcelona Science Park, is producing a natural molecule that enables the effective development of new functional foods for weight management. It is the iminosugar fagomine, a natural component analogue of glucose that is found in buckwheat. Fagomine reduces the usual high absorption rate of glucose from starches (cereals, potatoes or pasta) and refined sugars, therefore helping to prevent overweight and the paradoxical effects of hunger after the consumption of sugar-rich foods.
Fagomine is going to be a relevant tool in weight management. Bioglane’s I+D team –coordinated by Josep Lluis Torres, researcher of the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalunya (IQAC-CSIC)- has developed an enzymatic industrial process –based on the work of IQAC scientists Pere Clapés and Jesús Joglar- to produce the molecule D-fagomine that will be launched into the market under the name “Fagopure” (pure fagomine). Early next year the biotech hopes to start the regulatory process to commercialize this product in the United States, and later in Europe, which requires a longer authorization process. The company hold by the entrepreneurs, Genoma España and Caja Navarra, has received financial support from the Spanish and Catalan Administration.
Buckwheat is commonly used in many traditional recipes of Asia, Europe and North America, but its production is currently being reduced in front of other more productive crops. Bioglane believes that the scientific knowledge that is being generated regarding fagomine and buckwheat will stimulate the recovery of this healthy food that mankind has consumed over thousands of years worldwide. “It is a relevant scientific but also business development challenge transferring this real breaking innovation from a conceptual phase to the market under the entrepreneurs control”, explains Sergi Pumarola, founder and general manager of Bioglane.
Bioglane, with offices at the Barcelona Science Park and the Institut de Química Avançada de Catalunya-CSIC, focuses its activity on the development of new bioactive substances and their industrial production by clean efficient and competitive processes. The spin-off was created in mid-2007 in an initiative of CSIC researchers and the current Manager of Bioglane.