Interview of Rafel Prohens co-founder of CIRCE Scientific – Diario de Mallorca
In this interview Rafel Prohens, researcher at the University of Barcelona (UB), and co-founder of CIRCE Scientific explains how in 10 years the company has become one of the major references in the biotech sector.
“Initially CIRCE Scientific offered its services and know-how to the pharmaceutical sector, but since 2017 we have evolved into a biotech company and started to develop our own products. Based on my knowledge in Crystal Engineering and my experience with the pharmaceutical industry we detected the opportunity to develop nutraceutical ingredients with enhanced health properties. Our mission is to improve the health and aging of people through nutraceutical products.” states Rafel Prohens.
Pterostilbene: soon ready to be launched to the market
The first patented ingredient PTEROVITA will enter the United States market by the end of 2022 and soon Europe and Asia.
Pterostilbene is a powerful antioxidant close to the resveratrol and found in fruits such as blueberries and grapes. Many studies confirm its anticarcinogenic properties, it reduces oxidative stress and has great potential as an anti-ageing product.
As the world’s population ages, interest in longevity supporting supplements has grown. Older adults are looking for more convenient and simple ways to support healthy aging and help them maintain functional abilities for as long as possible.
Pterostilbene has proven to be a great ally helping slow the aging process, though bioavailability remains a challenge.
“It is this challenge that we have overcome with PTEROVITA, the same pterostilbene natural molecule but in a new crystalline form. This unique patented combination offers much higher bioavailability. CIRCE Scientific, not only targets older adults, but also younger and middle-aged adults who want to remain fit and healthy as they age. As PTEROVITA helps to reduce oxidative stress Athletes who are pushing their body to the limit will also benefit from Pterostilbene antioxidant properties and cellular DNA repair activation.” explains Rafel Prohens.
A highly stabilized vitamin D in development
CIRCE Scientific is also working on vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for humans, but its production declines very rapidly after the age of 30 or 40, especially in northern countries where there is less incidence of the ultraviolet radiation needed to naturally produce vitamin D. This is why in northern countries many people over the age of 40 takes vitamin D supplements. With Covid-19 it has become clear that most people are deficient in vitamin D and therefore it makes it more difficult to fight infection with a weaker immune system.
“We are currently working on a new cocrystal form of Vitamin D to overcome its instability limitations due its low tolerance to high temperatures, high humidity or solar radiation.” reveals Rafel Prohens.
Mallorca could attract more international talent, but there is a lack of investment
As of Rafel Prohens, the Balearic Islands lifestyle is everytime more attractive for researchers and the biotech scene. Salary is not always decisive and enjoying the Mediterranean way of living is worth considering when moving abroad. Therefore, Mallorca could attract more international talent and become an important scientific hub like Barcelona.
But currently there are limits:
“I feel that there is a lack of support infrastructure for the new companies that are emerging. For example, CIRCE carries out a large part of its research in the laboratories of the University of Barcelona, located in its Science Park, because we needed facilities that we could not access from here. I would like for students from Mallorca to be able to stay and do more quality science.”
Read the whole article in Spanish here: https://www.diariodemallorca.es/mallorca/2022/09/04/rafel-prohens-mallorca-atraer-talento-74989277.html