A signing ceremony for a financial agreement between Monaco Scientific Centre and the start-up Coraliotech took place on Monday 11 January.
The collaboration between Monaco Scientific Centre and Dr Rachid Benchaouir, the founder and CEO of Coraliotech, began in 2014 with joint research into genetic diseases and DNA sequencing of corals conducted by Dr Benchaouir and the Marine Biology and Medical Biology departments.
The molecule discovered through this research is of significant interest in the development of innovative and sustainable pharmacological and cosmetic products, as it protects skin cells from ultraviolet radiation and highly toxic chemicals. The value of these remarkable properties has been enhanced through the filing of a patent for application, which has been extended internationally and is co-owned by Monaco Scientific Centre.
Given the potential to develop innovative substances from corals, Dr Benchaouir decided to establish Coraliotech with support from Monaco Scientific Centre. The Monegasque marine biotechnology start-up joined the MonacoTech incubator programme in late 2017.
The start-up aims to produce, extract value from and market products based on these marine organisms that offer benefits to human health. Coraliotech is able to use coral DNA to reproduce in the laboratory active ingredients that are identical to natural molecules.
Monaco Scientific Centre’s investment in Coraliotech illustrates the close links between science and the development of new applications, and will allow the joint patent to be fully exploited through the marketing of patented products or licences for use.
With the agreement signed today, Monaco Scientific Centre has become the first Monegasque public institution to acquire a stake in a private company.