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Dinoflagellate phytotoxins exploitation

Dinoflagellate phytotoxins exploitation


Dinoflagellates are microalgae which produce a wide range of toxins. These toxins are mostly unknown (only 1% have been identified) but they have proven to be efficient in different market application: biopesticides, drug discovery and food safety testing. Biopesticides and drug discovery are seeking for new active compounds which may come from dinoflagellate toxins. Culture of dinoflagellates (and thus production of toxins) is not mastered by current technologies due to the extreme sensitivity to shearing forces of these algae. The current price of toxins isolated from dinoflagellates is very high (3 – 30 k€/ mg). Consequently, these toxins are poorly exploited as drug lead or biopesticides despite their renowned potential. PLANKTOVIE developed a disruptive patented technology (Soft mixer) which enable efficient dinoflagellate culture. A prototype has been developed and allows culture of dinoflagellate which are currently grown in static conditions due to their extreme shearing-forces sensitivity (and with very low production yield). This technology will be combined during the project with a carbonation membrane photobioreactor to increase the intake of CO2 in the culture. This should allow us to demonstrate the commercial production of 3 toxins isolated from dinoflagellates (production yields ranging from 3 to 24 g per year for a 200 L DINOPHYTE bioreactor).
Targeted markets are promising and in progress: Biopesticides : 3.5 bn€ ; food safety : 12 bn€ ; drug discovery :100 bn€ (worldwide by 2020). PLANKTOVIE received encouraging support from actors of these markets. The aim of the SME instrument phase 1 is to demonstrate the industrial production capacity of DINOPHYTE and to provide indepth knowledge of the markets. Market analysis will be performed for the biopesticide, drug discovery and food safety markets. The results of market study and feasibility study will be used to build a comprehensive market access strategy and business plan.
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13382 Marseille


Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 50 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 866736


Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2019

  • End date

    31 October 2019

Funded under:




  • Overall budget:

    € 71 429

  • EU contribution

    € 50 000

Coordinated by: