January 2021 Project Updates
COVID-19 Related Delays
ZIVO Bioscience conducts a significant portion of its research at academic institutions, universities and private laboratories across the US. Complete or partial closure due to COVID-related mandates has created delays and work stoppages which have had a cumulative and compounding effect on work schedules and deliverables, likely to continue into 2021.
Poultry gut health
Despite the disruption in research, the Company conducted additional testing at a poultry research facility in Maryland, concluding clinical trial #16 in late fall 2020 and commencing clinical trial #17. A press release was issued January 11, 2021 announcing results of an extensive analysis of prior studies against the results of trial #16, revealing compelling evidence that even healthy chickens can benefit from inclusion of ZIVO bioactives in poultry feed. See Press Releases on the News & Media page of this website.
The Company’s primary focus is to fully develop the intellectual property portfolio for out-licensing to strategic partners, and much of the Company’s resources are dedicated to this initiative.
In December 2019, the Company announced the characterization of a biologically active molecular complex that promotes a specific immune response. Throughout 2020, the Company worked to develop production methods to create fermentate containing the unique bioactives, and eventually contracted production with two universities and two private laboratories to do so. Purification of specific actives from the fermentate and subsequent testing began in late fall of 2020, primarily in vitro validation at university departments and private laboratories. With purified actives now available, work has begun to define the mechanism of action at the molecular level and to refine product composition to optimize product efficacy while reducing COGS.
As of January 28, 2020, sufficient fermentate is now available for evaluation by prospective licensees, while purified molecular entities should be available in the very near term, pending available funding.
Porcine immune health
Company principals are putting together research plans to investigate the use of the immunomodulator fermentate and/or purified molecular complex to address health issues in swine, more specifically weanlings, which are susceptible to a wide range of gut and respiratory maladies. More information regarding this initiative will be disclosed once the poultry gut health opportunity is fully realized.
Bovine mastitis testing
Bovine mastitis testing in California has been curtailed so that Company resources can be dedicated to the poultry gut health initiative. Therefore, despite promising results and interest from industry, ZIVO principals concluded that the bovine research would best be paused until the poultry opportunity was fully realized and additional funding became available. Once realized, bovine research will resume.
Algal biomass product development
In early 2020, ZIVO launched a modest product development program to determine whether the whole algal biomass or its derivatives held any promise as a functional skin health topical product. Preliminary tests indicate that incorporating ZIVO algal biomass into topical treatments can provide positive benefits. Initial tests have shown that the dried algae, applied as a paste or masque, or delivered as a spray-on mist, appears to provide tangible improvements within the skin microbiome and in reducing reactivity to environmental insults. Based on these findings, the team is developing both extracted and paste skin care ingredients drawn directly from the algal culture.
Tests for irritation and staining have returned with good results. The Company is currently conducting a product stability test and hopes to meet FDA compliance standards before the end of Q1 2021. This opens the door for market entry shortly thereafter.
Outsourced algae production
In late fall 2020, ZIVO executed a Phase 1 development agreement with agribusiness Grupo Alimenta and funded the startup of facility conversion at the Alimenta algae production facility in Ica. The facility commenced production immediately and delivered its first samples of ZIVO algal biomass in early January 2020 for testing in US labs. Pending that outcome, Alimenta will continue to move forward with facility conversion and expansion.
Alimenta has significant experience and capability in algal cultivation and has recently featured in a well-regarding TV documentary series for its dedication to sustainable agriculture.
Z-Mex Farms, an American company based near Aguacalientes, Mexico has been working with ZIVO VP Technology Dr. Harlan Miller to build an algae production facility at its own expense, and to license the ZIVO algal culture and production methods. Over the last 4 months ZIVO has dedicated engineering and processing resources to design a sustainable production concept, which is intended to grow to large-scale production over the next year. A licensing and offtake agreement is in negotiation, as well.
New Florida laboratory
ZIVO principals signed a lease and have taken possession of a facility in Ft. Meyers, FL to establish a commercial scaling and process improvement laboratory under the direction of Dr. Harlan Miller. The facility will also develop post-harvest processes to create new products based on the raw algal biomass destined for skin health, nutraceutical and food/beverage applications. Additional staff announcements are expected shortly.