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MARINE BIOTECHNOLOGY -- A NEW SOURCE FOR FINE AND SPECIALTY CHEMICALS

MARINE BIOTECHNOLOGY -- A NEW SOURCE FOR FINE AND SPECIALTY CHEMICALS
 FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The fine and specialty sectors of the chemical industry now have a new source for previously unknown molecules with unusual chemical activity. Through research in marine biotechnology, which derives these new entities from marine organisms, new physical and chemical properties and potentially significant commercial applications are emerging.
 Based on research in progress, exciting developments are expected in specialized enzymes, adhesives and coatings and environment- friendly waste management.
 In its report on "Marine Biotechnology," Technology Catalysts International Corp. presents a global overview of trends in the utilization of ocean resources. In addition to the pharmaceutical industry, which has the prospect of developing "blockbuster" drugs derived from marine organisms, the report identifies a number of chemical business opportunities.
 Specific examples cited:
 1. Specialty enzymes:
 -- haloperoxidases for bioremediation, laundry detergents and
 diagnostics.
 -- hyperthermophilic types stable to as high as 135 degrees
 Celsius.
 -- proteolytic types active at low temperatures (5-25 degrees
 Celsius).
 -- types which have the potential to inhibit biofouling of
 underwater structures by barnacles, zebra mussels, etc.
 2. Polyaspartate, a protein which resists corrosion and mineral buildup on metal surfaces exposed to sea water.
 3. Algicides which prevent fouling of clarifiers and effluent pipes.
 4. Biodegradable, chitosan-modified cellulose films with tensile strengths which exceed those of polyethylene films.
 5. Chitosan-modified rayon fibers which inhibit odor-causing bacteria.
 6. Polysaccharides excreted by marine bacteria, one example of which resembles xanthan gum.
 7. Microalgae capable of:
 -- fixing CO2 at high temperatures with good efficiency
 (power plant emissions contain high levels of CO2 which
 inhibit the growth of microflora in cooling ponds)
 -- digesting oil in seawater
 -- fixing nitrogen for use in biofertilizers
 Technology Catalysts comments that new chemical entities derived from marine organisms share similar problems with those derived from terrestrial sources. If culturing and harvesting of a marine resource is not feasible, then synthetic or biotechnological process routes will have to be developed for commercial production.
 In its report on Marine Biotechnology, Technology Catalysts reviews international policy issues, discusses technological developments and trends and provides information on the research activities and programs at 107 companies, universities and research centers in North America, Japan, Europe, Australia, South America and Africa. New compounds are identified, along with their marine source and their potential industrial applications.
 Technology Catalysts also identifies over 40 specific business opportunities (licenses, acquisition candidates, potential joint venture partners and sources for contract research).
 -0- 4/27/92
 /NOTE: Sections of the report are available to the trade press./
 /CONTACT: Ray Ceriotti of Technology Catalysts, 703-237-9600 or fax, 703-237-7967/ CO: Technology Catalysts International Corporation ST: Virginia IN: CHM SU:


DC -- DC004 -- 2995 04/27/92 09:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1992
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