Accelerate - November 2013

Biotech success through public and private partnerships

Nelson-based biotech company Supreme Biotechnologies recently announced that it received additional private investment of $500,000 in the company’s Astaxanthin facility.

“Government funding from Callaghan Innovation helped start our journey to become a global biotechnology business,” CEO Tony Dowd says.

“We are extremely grateful for this initial funding, which has enabled us to attract almost $3.5 million in private funding towards our growth. We are also grateful for the continual support we receive from NZTE, which, for example, assisted our travel to the Nutrition Capital Network’s Spring 2013 Investor Meeting in New York last April, enabling us to get in front of key people in the US.”

At the official opening of the facility in Nelson, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said the company was a success story for the region. “The biotechnology industry in the Nelson region employs about 250 people and the region is set to develop into an aquaculture and biotechnology hub,” he said. “This is exactly the sort of thing we want to see.”

Astaxanthin is a New Zealand natural antioxidant, which Supreme Biotechnologies extracts from algae grown in a proprietary indoor process. The final product, AstaSupreme™ Astaxanthin, is exported to markets in the UK, Europe, America and South East Asia.

“We have been producing AstaSupreme™ Astaxanthin commercially now for more than two years,” Dowd says. “We are out of our initial R&D and pilot phases and are now a sustainable commercial business focusing on value-add R&D and global distribution. Together, government and private support and investment help secure our future.”

Updated: 7 September 2015