Red algae eredicates the common cold virus
Viennese life sciences company Marinomed successfully sells products in 35 countries for the treatment of the common cold.
The roughly 200 different cold virus strains lurking in the air are as ubiquitous as the topic of the common cold itself. Once they have established themselves in the nasal mucous membrane, the body tries to get rid of the pathogens by increasing mucus production. On average, adults come down with a cold at least twice a year.
The work of the Viennese company Marinomed Biotechnologie focuses on this topic, and produces innovative nasal and throat sprays that stop the spread of viruses in the body. In contrast to other preparations, Marinomed products not only combat the symptoms of the cold, but also have a clinically proven effect against the cause. Colds and flu-like infections are of shorter duration or don’t occur at all.
From Vienna to the world
The patented active substance is called Carragelose. It is a polymer (a chemical compound of chain or branched molecules) that is obtained from red algae. The polymer envelops the cold viruses and prevents them from attaching to and penetrating the cells of the nasal mucous membrane. As a result, viruses that have already entered cannot multiply. At the same time, the active ingredient forms a shield of moisture in the nose that prevents the mucous membrane from drying out.
Marinomed’s management team is predominantly female. Eva Prieschl-Grassauer is CSO and co-founder of the company. Together with Angelika Bodenteich, she controls Marinomed’s entire product development. The two researchers possess many years of experience in the field of life sciences, where they have specialised in immunology, virology, and product development. Shortly after the foundation of the company in 2006, its first product – Coldamaris – was available on the domestic market.
In 2008, the innovative active substance was first approved for the international market. Today, Marinomed successfully sells its products to treat colds and influenza infections in 35 countries, and currently employs 25 people. Last year, Marinomed was awarded first place in the prestigious Houska Award of the B&C Private Foundation. The Houska Award is the largest private research award in Austria and is endowed with EUR 400,000.
New: relief for allergy sufferers
Currently, product development is focusing on two main areas: In addition to further expanding the existing product line, a combination product tailored to the needs of allergy sufferers is being developed. For people suffering from allergies, viral infections of the respiratory tract often cause the allergy to worsen, and can even contribute to the development of asthma. The forthcoming combination product aims to put a stop to this by offering effective protection against viral infection.
Over the past few years, Marinomed was able to bring several investors on board. Recently, aws Mittelstandsfonds and Invest Unternehmenbeteiligungs AG invested in the successful expansion of the company. Marinomed was also funded by the Vienna Business Agency. Investments will continue to push research forward, and the marketing for existing products will have an increasingly international focus. Since July 2017, Marinomed has been preparing for its initial public offering. They have been able to issue convertible bonds worth over seven million euros on Vienna’s capital market. The investment is now paying off for those that invested in the bonds. Marinomed was listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange in February 2019.
Marinomed can also be found on the Vienna Business Agency's database (in german).
Services of the Vienna Business Agency
- Funded through the programme Technology Awareness 2014
- Funded through the Programme Life Sciences 2014
- Funded through the programme Before FemPower 2007
- Funded through the programme Start-up 2002 und 2005
Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH
1210 Vienna, Austria