Evonik is investing in the startup company Algal Scientific based in Northville, MI, as part of a consortium investing more than $3 million. Algal markets 1,3-β-glucan, a polysaccharide that strengthens immune response that’s used as an additive in pharmaceutical formulations, nutritional supplements, and animal feeds.
The product can now be obtained from algae on an industrial scale. Algal has developed a new technology for starting up the first commercial production plant in Northville. Algal’s new bioprocess requires fewer production steps and generates significantly higher yields.
“We are very pleased that Evonik is joining us as a strategic partner,” said Geoff Horst, chief executive officer of Algal. “We have been able to attract a strong group of investors; this allows us to advance commercial production and our business.”
The consortium includes Evonik, the U.S. venture capital firms Formation 8, Independence Equity, and Envy Capital, as well as regional funds and business development companies promoting drug development in Michigan. Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in promising start-ups with break-through technologies and leading specialist venture capital funds, focusing on Europe, the U.S. and Asia.