21 blvBIOALVO, the Biotech for Natural Products, is a Portuguese biotech company, founded in 2006, dedicated to providing fully-integrated biotech solutions to maximize the potential market applications of natural resources. BIOALVO owns a large and everexpanding natural extract library, holding unique extracts derived mostly from a diverse array of microorganism that can be industrially produced by laboratorial sustainable culturing methods. This collection is expected to reach 40.000 extracts, at the end of 2013, including a variety of sources, such as deep sea vents in the Azores, or secret diving spots of Portugal’s Ministry of Defence, to some mainland ecosystems. Our collections are used for internal R&D projects, resorting to the in-house cell-based robotized facility and are also made available to partners through licensing deals that explore the potential of these collections to their chosen field of application. In addition, BIOALVO offers a simple, customizable, quick and fully integrated cell-based robotized unit designed for screening and evaluating extract bioactivity.


Contact person: Helena Vieira (



Role of BLV in MaCuMBA:

BLV will contribute to the work packages 2, 4 and 7. BLV will isolate and cultivate novel microorganisms from marine subseafloor environments using new approaches (WP2), and store new cultures in dedicated culture collections and develop long-term storage protocols (WP4). Furthermore, BLV will be involved in the identification and optimization of marine derived microbial products (WP7) for industrially relevant applications.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:

  • Ana Martins holds a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Cambridge, UK and a 5-years degree in Biological Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. Currently, she is the Director of the Natural Products Unit of BIOALVO.
  • Cátia Rodrigues holds a 5-year degree in Biotechnology Engineering, from Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon. Her professional experience includes IT database management at Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa, data management assistant of a clinical trial study at AstraZeneca and research assistant at Centro de Genética e Biologia Molecular of Lisbon Science Faculty.
  • Helena Vieira has a Post-Graduation in Leadership and Strategy in Biotech from Harvard Business School and PhD in Biomedicine from Imperial College of London, UK. After finishing her 5-year degree in genetics and microbial biology from Lisbon Science Faculty and fulfilled some research positions, she founded BIOALVO. Dr. Vieira is President and CEO of BIOALVO since December 2005.
  • Patrícia Calado holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, from Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon University and a 5-year Degree in Biology from Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra.
  • Ricardo Pinheiro holds a 3-year degree in Biotechnology Engineering, from Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisbon.

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