Nuritas, an Irish biotechnology company, has won the 2015 SVG Thrive Accelerator Award at the Forbes Reinventing America Ag Tech Summit in Salinas, California.

Nuritas was selected as one of the top 10 finalists before the summit and emerged the winner. Over 100 entries submitted from companies around the world were reviewed as part of a competition that was focused on precision agriculture and food solutions. The competition aimed to help solve the food and wellness challenges of the 21st century. To date, Nuritas has developed and patented food components that can help address challenges as broad as diabetes, anti-ageing and MRSA, amongst others.

Nuritas uses big data systems and bioinformatics to mine food for components – known as peptides – which can be used in life science industries, including functional foods, supplements, personal care, medical foods and pharmaceuticals. Nuritas finds these peptides 10 times faster than conventional research means, with 380 times more predictability of therapeutic discovery and for one thousandth of the cost.

In 12 months, Nuritas has discovered 20 novel peptides, all of which are seen to have exceptional efficacy with many more in the pipeline. Of these 20 peptides, two have been developed and patented by Nuritas which regulate blood glucose levels. In the future, Nuritas plans to target the prevention and onset of diabetes and also complement its treatment. Patents have also been filed for peptides that have anti-ageing properties and can be applied in cosmetics and personal care products. 

In comparison, there are estimated to be less than three dozen health-benefiting peptides commercially available globally – indicating the pace and scale of the company’s achievement to date.

Speaking at the presentation of the award in California, company founder Dr. Nora Khaldi stated “I am honoured that Nuritas has been recognised by Forbes for our innovative use of technology to discover key ingredients for healthy living. I passionately believe in the potential of food to offer solutions to health and wellness challenges but, until now, this potential was out of reach. Now, Nuritas is able to unlock nature’s hidden, health-benefiting ingredients that can work with the body to enhance well-being. As a company, we are extremely proud of the global importance of our work and this award is a very welcome endorsement of our values and mission.”

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