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Training network for exploring microalgae diversity for the development of novel antiviral compounds

Project description

Lectins and polyphenols from algae could help us fight viruses

Microalgae are tiny factories whose complex metabolic pathways churn out many bioactive compounds of interest to the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Among these are lectins and polyphenols, known for various health and protective activities, including antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. More recently, many lectins and polyphenols have been found to have antiviral activity. With the support of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme, the AlgaeNet4AV project will create a training network to explore and exploit microalgal lectins and polyphenols with antiviral properties against influenza and coronavirus pandemic strains. The project will include omics-based discovery, characterisation, development of culture systems, market assessment, biorefinery designs and techno-economic and sustainability assessment.


The AlgaeNet4AV project seeks to exploit the microalgae biodiversity, as a source for high-added-value lectins and polyphenols with antiviral properties against influenza and coronavirus pandemic strains. Microalgae derived-compounds are easily amendable, bio-degradable, non-toxic and safe; thus, they are preferred to be used for the development of novel bio-based materials and cosmetics with antiviral potential. Lectins and polyphenols could be highly demanded non-drug interventions across the materials and cosmetics industry as a solution to reduce the risk and speed of contamination and transmission during pandemic outbreaks. The project will combine the whole value chain in order to: a) develop transcriptomics and metabolomics resources from microalgae diversity as a valuable source for the discovery novel lectins and polyphenols; b) characterize their spectrum of bioactivity and toxicity and provide structure-function relationships; c) develop and optimize application-based microalgae culture systems and downstream processing strategies for higher production rate of the desired compounds; d) develop, formulate and evaluate lectins and polyphenols-based final cosmetics products. The work will be supported by market assessment, integral biorefinery designs, techno-economic and sustainability assessment. Integrated value chains will be demonstrated to deliver proof-of-concept and demonstrate economic feasibility. AlgaeNet4AV is an industry-academia R&D and innovation project with a multidisciplinary approach aimed at generating robust business cases through technology development. The consortium composed by 11 partners, with 7 European and 2 third-country (USA & Japan) prominent research organisations. Strong industrial leadership is guaranteed through the participation of 5 SMEs. The projects goals will be achieved through a sustainable way helping meet the increasing demand while creating a positive environmental impact through reduction of carbon emissions.


Net EU contribution
€ 96 600,00
57001 Thermi Thessaloniki

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Βόρεια Ελλάδα Κεντρική Μακεδονία Θεσσαλονίκη
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data

Participants (8)

Partners (3)