The Mera Pharmaceuticals Vision

The Mera Pharmaceuticals vision is to utilize our patented technology and our proprietary systems to develop products from plant sources that will improve the health and well being of people throughout the world. Our emphasis is on aquatic microbial plants, small but highly evolved organisms that generate a vast array of complex and unique organic molecules that may offer tremendous benefits for humans, either as nutritional supplements “nutraceuticals” or as pharmaceuticals. Our knowledge of these plants and our technology for cultivating them position Mera to take advantage of this tremendous, and until now, untapped resource.

Mera’s Platform technology


Mera Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a global leader in “photobioreactor” technology, a system that combines light, plants and nutrients in a manner that produces highly efficient growth under tightly controlled conditions. Mera’s large-scale photobioreactors, literally hundreds of times larger than their experimental predecessors, are a new, “platform” technology that unlocks the commercial potential of photosynthetic aquatic microbial plants – 30,000 species of microalgae that have remained almost entirely unexplored and unexploited, despite their acknowledged potential as a source for valuable products, because there had been no means to produce them at large scale, until Mera developed its patented technology. The terrestrial counterparts of these plants, bacteria and yeast, support multi-billion dollar industries when grown in industrial fermenters, bioreactors without light. We believe the Mera Growth Module (MGM) is the largest cost effective photobioreactor ever operated, and that it will lead to the development of multi-billion dollar markets for the products derived from microalgae.

Microalgae and their products


Microalgae offer tremendous potential for commercialization because they

  • Are the fastest growing plants on earth – 100 times faster than trees. Microalgae typically double their weight once a day.
  • Are easy to process with commercially available technology.
  • Require raw materials that are abundant and inexpensive: sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and nutrients.
  • Produce a vast array of natural products: pigments, proteins, enzymes, sugars, fats, amino acids, vitamins, and unusual bioactive compounds that have value for nutritional and pharmaceutical applications.

The markets

Mera’s first market is nutraceuticals, and we have been marketing our first two products the AstaFactor Rejuvenating Formula and AstaFactor Sports Formula nutritional supplements that contain astaxanthin, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. A third product will be marketed shortly, and others are in various stages of development. Longer term, Mera may engage in drug discovery and development, taking advantage of the large number of bioactive compounds that are known to be produced by microalgae as a way of protecting themselves from their environment. Products for the veterinary market, cosmetics and others have market potential measured in the tens of millions of dollars each.

All of Mera’s target markets will share the following criteria:

  • High value, high margin products
  • Natural products that are safe and offer unique, clinically demonstrated benefits
  • Sales of more than $100 million annually

Nutraceutical astaxanthin

The Company’s first major product is a dietary supplement, or nutraceutical, rich in astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a powerful, bioactive anti-oxidant that has demonstrated efficacy in animal or human models for addressing the following:

  • Macular Degeneration: the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease: major neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: ameliorates the effects of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.
  • Stroke: repairs damage caused by lack of oxygen.
  • Cancer: protects against several major types of cancer.

Additional research is planned to validate scientifically the strong anecdotal evidence that we have showing that astaxanthin has very positive effects on cardiac health and joint health, as well as strong anti-inflammatory properties.1

Drug discovery market

The pharmaceutical industry depends heavily on having a full pipeline of new drug candidates. The advent of genomic and high throughput screening (HTS) technologies has revolutionized the process of finding new, disease-targeted drugs faster. However, the potential for more rapid discovery has only increased the need for more new sources of drugs.

Very few of the estimated 30,000 species of microalgae have been tested for compounds of pharmaceutical interest. However, those that have been tested have already produced compounds showing activity against cancer, HIV and degenerative diseases. Mera Pharmaceuticals has developed a program to accelerate dramatically the discovery of new drugs from the organic molecules produced by microalgae.

Leadership in science, technology and management

Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the world’s leading marine science research institutions, played a leading role in the founding of Mera Pharmaceuticals. The Company’s staff includes world leaders in marine biotechnology, including photobiology and the physiology of microalgae.

The Company’s Board of Directors and its management team bring together senior executive experience in organization, operations, marketing and finance with a proven record of building successful companies from the startup stage to well over $100 million in annual revenues.

1The US Food and Drug Administration has not passed on the efficacy of astaxanthin with regard to any of these conditions, and there is no claim made that astaxanthin is to be used to treat or cure any medical condition or disease.