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New Supplement May Alleviate Calcium Deficiency and Accelerate Bone Repair

New Supplement May Alleviate Calcium Deficiency and Accelerate Bone Repair

May 17, 2012

Press Releases

BGU’s Prof. Amir Sagi, an internationally known endocrinologist from the Department of Life Sciences, has long investigated crustacean reproduction and hormones. Working on crustacean aquaculture in Israel’s Arava region (the hottest and driest area), he found a project idea growing way beyond the initial research.

How, he wondered, do crayfish accomplish the extraordinary feat of building a new, bigger skeleton in only three or four days?

“They must calcify their entire skeleton in that short time. We studied their solution: storing a pellet in their stomachs, a gastrolith, which is dissolved when they molt. The process inspired us to make calcium similarly available for human consumption, both from natural resources or synthesis in the lab.”

In collaboration with Dr. Amir Berman of BGU’s Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Sagi succeeded in stabilizing a rare form of calcium carbonate that is more easily absorbed by the human body, and may alleviate calcium deficiency and accelerate bone injury repair.

The research has earned four patents, and Sagi co-founded a BGU-based startup company called Amorphical to develop new products. The business has drawn $3 million in investment so far.

Sagi hopes to have the first product on the market this year. He sees a potential to revolutionize the vitamin supplement market, and is researching pharmaceutical possibilities.

“The future for Israel is in special products like this—niche high-income products,” he believes. “We cannot compete with countries that have unlimited water, cheap space and cheap manpower. But we can do very well with niche specialty markets.”

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications
516-944-4486
alc@alavin.com