PhytoSpherix™ is made from nano-sized particles of glycogen — a natural sugar — extracted from non-genetically-modified sweet corn
Discovered by University of Guelph physics Prof. John Dutcher and his then-post-doctoral researcher Dr. Anton Korenevski (now Chief Scientist at Mirexus), PhytoSpherix™ is an innovative platform technology that has a wide variety of applications in the cosmetics, nutrition and pharmaceutical industries. Non-toxic, water soluble and biodegradable, it is nature’s answer to concerns about the potential negative impacts of synthetic nanoparticles on the environment.
In fact, even though PhytoSpherix™ is nano in size, it isn’t classified as a nanomaterial by regulatory and certification bodies – and it has already been approved for food use by Health Canada.
But early on in the company’s development, the regulatory picture wasn’t clear at all. Seeking answers, Mirexus tapped the expertise of Innovation Guelph mentor Dr. Mark Goldberg, whose background in toxicology includes two decades as a regulatory consultant for clients in the food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and crop-protection sectors.
“Mark and Innovation Guelph helped us to do a study that showed the regulatory hurdles, contrary to what we had originally thought, were not going to be a major roadblock,” says Whiting. “This was something that we needed to confirm in order to attract investment in the business.”
To date, the company has secured more than $7 million, plus $2 million in government funding for research and development. Through IG’s Fuel Injection program, Mirexus was able to obtain needed equipment, hire student resources, and conduct internal trials of PhytoSpherix™ that demonstrated its anti-aging and moisturizing potential.
Whiting says support from IG accelerated the project by three months and generated the data needed to justify further investment in a $250,000 independent clinical trial in the U.S., which was instrumental in the company’s ability to launch PhytoSpherix™ at In Cosmetics.
“This is a game-changer for Mirexus. It will catapult us into global markets and establish credibility we could never get on our own.”