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7 biotechs turning science projects into reality in Santiago

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Scientific industries in Latin America may be lagging behind other regions yet there’s no denying that it’s catching up, especially in Santiago, Chile.

While the Chilean economy has historically revolved around mining, the biotechnology sector is steadily growing, made evident with over 200 established biotech companies.

Just to clarify, biotechnology encompasses the use of living systems and organisms to design new technology to improve humans’ quality of life. This field transcends industries, ranging from agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, disease prevention, etc.

Keeping this in mind, check out what these seven Santiago-based biotechs are up to by reading below.

The Not Company

Reinventing plant-based products only begins to describe what The Not Company (NotCo) does as a biotech company.

We’ve covered this startup quite a bit here at Contxto due to its recent Argentine expansion, rumors about a faux-meat product, partnership with Brazilian distributor Grupo Pão de Açúcar, not to mention Jeff Bezos’ hefty US$30 million investment into the company. 

All of these advancements are understandable when you realize how NotCo utilizes AI technology to create vegan alternatives to food staples, such as ice cream, mayonnaise, etc. 

The Live Green Co

Ancient indigenous traditions and modern technology allow The Live Green Co to engineer healthy, sustainable foods at affordable prices.

The company applies Recommendation Software known as Charaka to find plant-based substitutes for animal products. At the same time, this program helps it avoid using chemicals for its consumer goods.

Some of The Live Green Co’s products include packaged foods such as Green Burger mixes, not to mention personal care products such as organic shampoos, toothbrush, body wash, moisturizer, etc. 

Phage Technologies

Not only do meat and dairy substitutes exist but also antibiotics. Specifically, Phage Technologies produces antibiotic alternatives for the livestock industry via its “phagotherapy” model. In other words, it creates products using bacteriophages, small viral particles capable of recognizing pathogenic bacteria. 

In turn, if partners want to eliminate a certain type of bacteria from livestock, products are created with the specific industry in mind. Applied science is what makes it go round by the end of the day. 

Andes Biotechnologies 

For Andes Biotechnology, its mission is to unlock the potential of non-coding DNAs and antisense tech to provide a new series of cancer treatments. To accomplish this, the biotechnology firm has developed its own proprietary technology for cancer research, specifically solid tumors. 

Regarding the innoavation, it has combined two DNA families – sense (S-RNA) and antisense (AS-RNA). Experiments on drugs have shown successful tumor reduction as well as prevention. 

Daeki 

Certain diseases like type II diabetes are difficult to detect since it shows no early symptoms. Well, imagine being able to detect diseases simply with a saliva sample. Daeki makes this possible with its technological medical tools. According to the company, it’s creating the next generation of detection and diagnostic devices. 

Specifically, Daeki discovered that saliva contains bio-indicators that can detect diseases. What it created is similar to a pregnancy test that uses a strip. Once the saliva hits the stick, the molecules found within combine with the specific nucleic acid from the saliva. As a result, quick results are guaranteed. 

Algenis 

Microalgae is Algenis’ friend and with good reason. The company facilitates R&D on natural sodium channel blocker molecules found within this marine lifeform. Over the years, Algenis has proven that sodium channel blockers can treat an assortment of pathologies, the causes and effects of diseases. 

Part of this involves handling highly-toxic paralyzing venom molecules (VPM) that just so happen to be natural alkaloids, organic compounds of plant origin that affect human physiology. VPM is primarily found in marine dinoflagellates (single-cell algae) and freshwater cyanobacteria (organisms consisting of both bacteria and algae).

Cellter 

Cell regeneration is Cellter’s main focus. Founded in 2016, it uses nano pharmaceutical drugs as well as human’s ability to replaced damaged cells to do this. In the end, its products expedite the regenerative processes via AI technology.

Biotic Solutions (Honorable mention) 

Although Biotic Solutions isn’t a startup, this company is a great resource for them. That’s to say, it makes strategic partnerships, education programs and research with its collaborative platform. Essentially, it functions as an accelerator/incubator/coworking space of sorts to evaluate biotechnology projects. As a result, groups can reduce costs and environmental impact by working with this ally.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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