Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd (AQP)

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Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd is an established SME founded in 2000 to pioneer the discovery and development of natural products derived from a growing and proprietary collection of >9,000 marine micro-organisms. Aquapharm’s growing portfolio of marine-derived bio-actives has broad commercial application from pharmaceutical APIs to functional ingredients for the personal care and nutritional markets and holds great promise as a source of novel, sustainable production routes to high value functional ingredients. Aquapharm represents one of the fastest growing marine biotechnology companies in the UK. With a team of 27 scientific and business experts, the company has developed a strong skill base in marine microbiology, business development, project management, biochemistry, assay development, fermentation and natural products chemistry.


Contact person: Dorothee Gotz (



Role of AQP in MaCuMBA:

AQP will specifically use innovative culturing methods to target novel symbiotic actinomycete species (both streptomycete and deep lineage genera) from a range of marine macroinvertebrate species e.g. sponges. Co-culturing: AQP will provide support in WP3 & WP5 to support innovative co-culturing techniques. Extract screening: AQP will provide support to screen extracts in WP7 specifically focussed on testing extracts against anti-inflammatory cell reporter assays (NF-kB). Prototyping novel engineering solutions to culturing marine bacteria. AQP will provide support to WP8 leader (Heriot-Watt) to trial new approaches to culturing “hard to culture” marine micro-organisms, using engineering techniques transferred to AQP as part of dissemination activities. Innovation Related Activities: As an SME partner, Aquapharm will provide support in the management of all innovation-related activities, such as project dissemination, and exploitation of project results and will seek advice concerning FP7-specific rules and regulations regarding protection of IPR in close collaboration with the project leader.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:

Overall project coordination within Aquapharm will be led by its Founder & CTO, Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg with R&D project management support provided by Aquapharm's CSO, Dr Tim Morley.

Andrew Mearns-Spragg

Dr. Spragg’s research experience covers marine biotechnology, microbiology and natural products chemistry. Experience as a participating partner on EU-funded research projects since 2008 (formal, contractual, managerial and organisational aspects of EU projects).
  Dr. Morley, Senior Project Manager, has over 20 years senior research management experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Morley has directed the development of compounds for the treatment of prostate cancer, growth hormone deficiency, obesity, and Parkinsons disease from discovery to clinical trials.

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