Photonz Edges Out Global Competitors
A tiny Henderson-based company is reportedly leading the global race to extract a brain acid from algae which may offer a cure for depression. Photonz is growing micro-organisms which produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one of two highly desirable omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids found in fish which eat the algae. Along with its close relative DHA, EPA is used to treat conditions ranging from heart disease and dyslexia to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression. According to Photonz chief executive Karl Geiringer, his company chose to focus on depression because NZ suffers from of the world’s highest rates of depressive disorders. “We are using a naturally occurring organism so we are not genetically engineering anything, and we are inducing it to produce the EPA in a way that makes it much easier to get out, and we are using new technology to get it out,” says Geiringer. Photonz already has three patents pending and its financial backers include Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall.