Via Huddle.today: Mycodev and the Biotech Wonder FungusJenny Keleher April 18, 2016
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FREDERICTON–Few know about the biotech wonder material that is chitosan. Even fewer know that a hypoallergenic version of this material, used for a huge variety of purposes ranging from wound care to winemaking, is being produced by a company in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
While chitosan is often produced from shellfish, Mycodev Group produces high purity, pharmaceutical-grade chitosan from fungus grown through fermentation technology. This makes the chitosan safe to use for everyone.
Founders David Brown, Fredericton-born scientist, and Brennan Sisk, marketing and business development specialist, explain that they combined their expertise to fill a gap in the market and make Mycodev a reality.
Brown explains that since chitosan is most often made from shellfish, there was a need for material produced in other ways, such as the fermentation method they settled on. He says that even more interesting than their production is what their clients are doing with the chitosan they produce.
“They’re making amazing diagnostic kits for cancer. They’re making gene delivery platforms,” Brown says. “They’re tackling all kinds of very important health issues that I think are going to be huge in the next century.”
“Another big one is wound care: clients using chitosan as one of the main ingredients for making medical devices to stop bleeding for military, first-responders or just the average person … we’re like the secret sauce to a huge amount of different medical applications that are really exciting.”
Mycodev first began when Brown connected with BioNB and met Sisk at a group event.
“It was kind of a perfect match because I don’t know anything about business but Brennan is a business specialist,” Brown says. “With Brennan’s skills, my skills and then about half a year later we found an engineer, Peter Dean, who kind of filled the circle in terms of the skills we needed to start the company. We were in the first cohort of Planet Hatch.”