Swedish bio-technology innovator I-Tech plans to evaluate the potential for large-scale production of its organic, non-metal antifouling ingredient across Europe.
Selektope, chemically known as medetomidine, has been used in the pharmaceutical industry as a sedative in drugs for humans and animals. The molecule was first developed by the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University, and since then I-Tech has worked to make it applicable to the maritime sector.
Selektope is an organic, non-metal compound that temporarily stimulates barnacles and larvaes’ octopamine receptors, which in turn causes the barnacles to become hyperactive and unable to attach to the surface of a ship. By reducing build-up of barnacles on the surface of ship, it has minimal resistance as it sails through the water, saving fuel consumption and reducing emissions. Selektope is characterised by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w) with ultra-low leaching.
I-Tech and its manufacturing partner will work to optimise and adapt I-Tech’s process for production of Selektope at scale, using an existing plant. Having recently acquired the IPR and technical expertise to undertake the Selektope synthesis, and appointed a new supply chain and logistics manager, the new initiative aims to further strengthen the I-Tech supply chain, and improve the competitive edge in its key markets.
Philip Chaabane, CEO I-TECH, commented: “In recent years, I-Tech has been successful in scaling up the production of its unique technology from quantities measured in kilos to a robust manufacturing platform producing at multiple tons scale. As customer demand continues to increase, it is important for I-Tech to develop redundancy as well as competitive scale in its manufacturing capability. This evaluation program supports our long-term goals for Selektope® to prosper and meet increasing demand in key markets”
Read more about Selektope in VPO Global’s interview with Philip Chaabane, CEO of I-Tech here.