HONG KONG, April 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Underscoring Hong Kong's status as a biotechnology hub, Maz World Ltd (Maz World) is moving to Hong Kong Science Park to commercialise its revolutionary ostrich antibody technology for different markets around the world.
Ostriches have a very strong immune system and are highly resistant to viral infections. Japanese researchers have discovered how to mass produce natural ostrich antibodies that are effective against influenza, avian flu, MERS, Zika and even the Ebola virus. Other applications being explored in Japan include using ostrich antibodies to inhibit enzymes, which could potentially help combat allergies, hair loss, obesity and diabetes. Ostrich antibodies are also already commercially available in skincare products in Japan.
Maz World is bringing this technology to Hong Kong to take advantage of the world-class innovation and biotech resources at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and the city's renowned medical research facilities. Maz World will focus on the downstream commercialisation of its technology, working with partners to develop and manufacture ostrich antibody products for markets with different health concerns, cultures and living habits.
Hong Kong biotech ecosystem to help ostrich antibody technology fly high
"Hong Kong is an ideal location for Maz World to commercialise ostrich antibody technology, with an international environment to test new products and look for strategic collaboration partners and investment opportunities. Here at Hong Kong Science Park, we have already accessed many like-minded key stakeholders in the innovation and technology industry, and built local and international networks," said Mr Gene Shigekawa, Managing Partner of Maz World Ltd.
Hong Kong has a strong background in biomedical research, with two world-class medical schools with clinical trial centres, as well as a cluster of over 80 biomedical technology enterprises at Hong Kong Science Park. Taking advantage of the proximity and extensive network of HKSTP, Maz World has already initiated conversations with local universities and R&D institutions for possible applied research collaboration.
Welcoming Maz World to Hong Kong's vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem, HKSTP Chief Executive Officer Albert Wong said, "Hong Kong has an excellent environment for innovation-driven businesses to scale up and succeed on the global stage. The free flow of talents, goods and services, funds and information are critical success factors for technology businesses."
HKSTP has made Healthy Ageing a key strategic technology application platform. Its goal is to help innovative companies like Maz World commercialise their R&D into products that will contribute to better preventive care and medical services to fight against disease and maintain long-term health as populations around the world age.
Ostrich antibody technology is a game-changer for medicine and healthcare
Maz World's ostrich antibody technology is the result of over 20 years of scientific research by Prof Yasuhiro Tsukamoto from the Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Kyoto Prefectural University.
He began studying the ostrich, the largest bird in the world, because it is highly resistant to viral infections. Prof Tsukamoto developed pioneering technology to extract antibodies from the yolk of unfertilised ostrich eggs. This process does not harm the animal and yields 4 grams of purified antibody from each egg. Since the ostrich has a long reproductive life, laying 100 extremely large eggs per year for as much as 55 years, this makes it possible to mass manufacture natural antibodies at a much lower cost than with other techniques.
"Ostrich antibody can be produced in large scale at lower cost, with consistent quality and is safe for humans. Ostrich antibody is resistant to heat as well as acidic and alkalinity levels, which gives the technology extremely high business potential for application for many products and various manufacturing processes. We hope the ostrich antibody can be commercialised and applied to a wide range of preventative and therapeutic products in Hong Kong to serve consumers worldwide. I believe that it is a potential game-changer for medicine and healthcare industries," Prof Tsukamoto said.
In Japan, the ostrich antibody has already been successfully applied in skin care and daily life products developed by Zeal Cosmetics Inc. Mr Osamu Maeda, President of Zeal Cosmetics said, "The ostrich antibody has demonstrated excellent effectiveness in skin care by balancing the bacteria environment on skin, and also showed promising results for daily care products. Our antibody products are now recognised and trusted by both medical professionals and end-user consumers alike."
About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.
Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long.
More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.