Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) portfolio company Oleolive has been awarded a $350,000 federal grant to study oleocanthal, a compound found in extra virgin olive oil, and its effects on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
The grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Aging (NIA) was awarded to the Shreveport-based company, which licensed a University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) technology for extraction of oleocanthal from the oil, a process developed in Dr. Khalid El Sayed’s laboratory.
Segue Science Management (SSM) negotiated the licensing agreement, the first technology licensing deal for ULM, and partnered with Oleolive to form a private company to provide high-quality oleocanthal to researchers, develop a consumer product to show the beneficial effects of oleocanthal on the skin, and, through the grant award, continue research on oleocanthal’s effects on Alzheimer’s disease by Dr. Amal Kaddoumi at Auburn University. Kaddoumi also received pilot funding from BRF’s Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy while on the ULM faculty.
Oleolive operations are based out of BRF’s InterTech 1 facility in Segue Science Labs.
SSM, which aims to commercialize scientific technologies discovered in the academic setting, has entered a second-year contract with ULM to commercialize more technology developed at the university. Revenue derived from Oleolive and future licensed technologies returns to ULM in the form of royalties.
“This federal grant further validates the research that was initiated by Drs. El Sayed and Kaddoumi at ULM and the value of the technology that Oleolive and its founders are bringing to market for researchers and a possible wide range of future applications – from skin conditions to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dave Smith, EAP Executive Director.
Oleolive founders are Kiley Grant, CEO, Drs. El Sayed and Kaddoumi, and former LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport researchers Drs. Alana Gray, COO, and Jim Cardelli, CTO.
The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program, an initiative of BRF, is a public/private partnership between BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential.