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BioTherapeutics and Virginia Tech Creating "Health" Water

Friday, August 12, 2016  
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About a decade ago, as consumers were just learning that some types of bacteria are essential to good health and started buying food with probiotics, Josep Bassaganya-Riera, CEO of BioTherapeutics, began to research abscisic acid. This hormone has already shown promise in improving blood-sugar control in diabetic mice.

Bassaganya-Riera plans to launch a brand of health waters with the potential to improve gut health, fight inflammation and regulate glucose. The waters, to be marketed under the Pervida brand, will contain abscisic acid. This hormone has already shown promise in improving blood-sugar control in diabetic mice and is found in many fruits and vegetables but its health qualities are not widely known.

His team at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech discovered a compound that binds with abscisic acid and a new pathway to carry it where it needs to go. The more he worked with abscisic acid the more he came to appreciate its role not just in regulating glucose but in improving gut health and fighting inflammation.

Bassaganya-Riera said he obtained patents and licenses through Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties and in 2008 founded BioTherapeutics. Tech owns 5 percent of the company.

BioTherapeutics hopes to use abscisic acid in the development of pharmaceuticals to treat Crohn’s and inflammatory bowel disease.

“We are very optimistic it outperforms current drugs on the market,” he said. BioTherapuetics is seeking federal approval to begin clinical trials, but as with any new drug development, moving through the testing phases to determine if the product is safe and effective in humans will take many years.

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