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Austrian Biotech Startups at indieBio in Cork

2 July 2015

Would you like to eat a probiotic yoghurt that helps to keep you young? What about using plastic packaging that is biodegradable in 60 days and helps win the race against waste?

Two Austrian biotech startups are working on these projects at the indieBio accelerator at University College Cork.

Backed by SOSVentures in Cork, indieBio has nine young startups on its programme, two of which are Austrian, Ageria and Saphium. Last year another Austrian startup called Kilobaser took part in the programme and went home with $500,000 in funding to develop their device for “printing" short DNA sequences.

indieBio will host a Demo Day on 12 August in the old Cork Gaol. See link here.

David Weichselbaum, co-founder of Ageria told us the following:

We fight aging with yogurt. Ageria uses novel metabolic engineering to create a probiotic yogurt culture. It will contain high amounts of a compound known to prevent age-related diseases while fortifying the body against oxidative stress. Osteoarthritis, Alzheimer's and cancer, but also the aging of skin, hair and organs can be prevented this way.

SAM - the active compound - is present in all living things but due to its chemical instability there is literally no food source enriched with it.

By utilizing lactic acid bacteria we bring a small SAM factory to your fridge that runs on milk and helps you stay healthy, active, good looking and generally young.

Christof Winkler-Hermaden, co-founder of Saphium is equally enthusiastic about his product:

Saphium is producing bio-based plastics with the help of bacteria. Most conventional plastics are based on crude oil, take hundreds of years to degrade and release toxic additives that accumulate in every human being. Right now every small commodity such as a toothbrush lasts longer than a human life but does it have to stay that way?

The Saphium alternative is a compound that is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and 100% compostable. Additionally, it is perfectly designed for 3D printing applications and is an ideal alternative to conventional food packaging materials. When put into soil, the compound degrades within 60 days without leaving a trace and even serves as a fertilizer because of its biological origin. It also has many other applications.

indieBio is backed by SOSVentures including Sean O’Sullivan and Xing co-founder Bill Liao. Cathal Garvey is Scientific Director. See link to SOSVentures here .