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Utilizing what Mother Nature gave us 

Spring and summer is such a wonderful time of year for gardens. The beauty of mother nature's work in full bloom. But those beautiful flowers and the bees that pollinate them may contain a lot more than meets the eye.

Université de Moncton's Dr. Marc Surette and Dr. Mohamed Touaibia have been working on the development of anti-inflammatory compounds to be used in aiding diseases like asthma, allergic rhinitis, rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis.

The work has received Springboard Atlantic Innovation Mobilization Proof of Concept funding and Patent & Legal funding for the work of rationally synthesizing 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors. Drs. Surette and Touaibia discovered new polyphenolic compounds inspired by a natural molecule found in propolis, a sealant produced by the bees to fill small gaps. This promises to be a game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry for anti-inflammatory drugs as this naturally occurring compound does not have known toxicity issues. Innovation Mobilization funds were used to file for patent protection and to develop these compounds further and to characterize their effectiveness of the most promising compounds.

In addition, Dr. Surette, an NBIF Innovation Research Chair in Biosciences, is also working on the development of a new source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It's called the Ahiflower and it presents not only a new source of fatty acids but also a new cash crop for farmers. Dr. Surette's aim is to work with industry to integrate these vegetable-based and sustainable fatty acids into their products. Dr. Touaibia is an organic/medicinal chemist who is also working on the design and synthesis of natural products based molecules with various biological activities including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Springboard is excited to be supporting the work of Dr. Surette and Dr. Touaibia. This work will provide a tremendous boost for New Brunswick's burgeoning biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Find out more about how the region is #springboarding here.

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