An intestinal regulator probiotic yeast (KLUYVER B0399), resistant to antibiotics, was patented by Turval Laboratories, which has its offices in the Scientific Park of Udine. The market will be the testing ground.
By Giacomina Pellizzari
It’s the first international recognition obtained by one of the companies established in the Scientific and Technological Park belonging to Luigi Danieli, in the Ziu.
“We have developed an active ingredient that is able to improve biological activity and regulate the intestinal flora,” explains Turval administrator Sandro Turello, “it is a lactic yeast resistant to antibiotics.”
This strain of yeast was originally found in cheese. The Turval researchers, who were assisted by collegues from the University of Udine, Bologna, and Perugina, were able to locate it in about ten years of study. “Everything started in the mid 90s when Europe proposed to eliminate antibiotics from feeds. That is when we began to study how to put in an active ingredient to improve the digestion of feeds,” explains Turello, when describing the probiotic as a biological product suitable also for homeopathic treatments. The probiotic, in fact, is a living microogranism that strengthens the intestinal ecosystem.
After years of study and experimentation, the development of the natural medicine was completed a few months after the Pradamano company entered the Scientific and Technological Park of Udine. Once settled in the Ziu, the researchers have defined a system of biotechnological production of the yeast that after it was patented, they quickly recorded for the first time in Europe. At that point, the company subjected the dossier to the attention of many ministries of health. The product was assessed by the responsible of the American ministry of health, the Food and Drug Administration, that authorized its marketing a few months later.
“It is,” continues Turval’s administrator, “a revolutionary active ingredient. It’s a lactic yeast that, unlike the lactic ferment, resists against antibiotics and naturally passes through the gastric barrier. It arrives intact at the intestine, which is something that lactic ferments can only do in smaller measures.”
Turval’s probiotic is suitable also for those who are lactose intollerant. “It can also diminish, in humans, vaginal candida,” points out Turello, who thinks the product will open a new series of chains – mainly in Europe, where the company’s administrator counts on receiving, in short, the active ingredient’s approval and being comparible to that in the United States.
Furio Honsell, rector of the Friuli university, as well as the president of the Friuli Consortium Innovation and gestor of the park, was also satisfied of the results Turval obtained. Honsell reveals, in fact, that the recognition by the American ministry of health brings the Scientific Park of Udine up to an international level.
“The real adventure starti now, with the certification that authorizes the probiotic to be put on the market.” Turval Laboratories’ administrator Sandro Turello knows well that the true test is the promotion of the probiotic onto the market.
“Also because,” explains the engineer, “active ingredients generally are patented by multinational cooperations, and not by small companies like ours.” Turello does not hide that the researchers working for his company “got started by scholastic notions to try and elaborate a new food supplement.” They have a result that now must deal with the logistics of the market. “Salespeople,” explains Turello, “do not believe in small businesses. They believe in multinational cooperations.”
The problem interests most of all the commercialization of the product on the food market geared towards animals. It may seem like a contradiction, but, as Turello points out, “the problem is obtaining the all clear for animals, given that for humans, a product can be used without authorization.”
The new probiotic is the result of a long collaboration with different Italian universities and regional research laboratories – Particularly with professors Piero Susmel and Giuseppe Comi from the University of Udine, Piero Anichini and Dario de Paolo, from the Chemical Laboratories of the Chambers of Commerce of Udine and Trieste respectively, Biochemio’s Lorena Riul, and Turval’s Paolo Valles and Claudia Silvestro – the same that started over 60 research protocols: half of them have already formed collaborations with Italian and American unversities, and even one Kenyan university.
The commitment of the company based in the Scientific and Technological Park of Udine will still continue in the future its study on the lactic yeast’s possible therapeutic effects, especially in gastroenterology, dermatology, oncology, and pediatrics.