Jellyfish are a source of collagen: this is the idea behind the winner of Boost Cymru, a competition of the Life Sciences Hub Wales. We had a chat with Andrew Mearns-Spragg, CEO of Jellagen, about this promising startup.
The jellyfish already has a place in Biotech’s hall of fame as the source of the gene for the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is essential in biological research. However, as fascinating as these creatures are (see the work of BioArtist Robertina Šebjanič), they are hardly seen as economically relevant.
In fact, they are often regarded as a nuisance, and recent extreme rises in jellyfish populations have even been dubbed ‘Jellymageddon‘. But Biotech could be on track to harness some of their interesting properties.
“The idea of using jellyfish was something that I had in the back of my mind for a number of years,” says Andrew Mearns-Spragg, CEO of Jellagen. He is a marine biotechnologist with years of experience in this branch of Biotech. He founded Jellagen in 2013 to investigate jellyfish as a source of collagen.