SynShark and Phylloceuticals To Co-Develop Squalene

SynShark and Phylloceuticals To Co-Develop Squalene

SynShark and Phylloceuticals To Co-Develop Squalene

Squalene is increasingly used as an adjuvant component in several vaccines to improve immune response. However, squalene is in extremely short supply, since it is obtained primarily from shark liver oil. This partnership aims to offer a fast track to produce pharmaceutical squalene from plants.

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SynShark and Phylloceuticals have announced the formation of a strategic partnership that is likely to change the way squalene, a critical immunologic adjuvant, is manufactured in the future. Phylloceuticals is a leader in plant-based pharmaceutical manufacturing, with a mission to supply underserved world markets to gain access to needed medicine. SynShark was founded to find new manufacturing platforms to replace or replenish currently unsustainable resources such as squalene. Jason Ornstein, Executive Director, of SynShark describes the synergy this way: “Our companies were both founded to do good, inspired by an incredibly strong base of validated science.” He added, “This collaboration is a natural match. The Phylloceuticals team has previously built some of the largest plant-made pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the world, and that history, along with their strong drug development expertise, blends perfectly with our proprietary platform and squalene production experience.”

The companies will collaborate on process development and manufacturing scale-up of squalene both transgenically expressed in Lemna sp. and transiently expressed in Nicotiana Benthamiana (N. Benth.). The partnership is expected to increase supply and boost access to this in-demand product used in both the pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets.

Bill Brydges, CEO of Phylloceuticals, echoed this. “The benefits of manufacturing pharmaceuticals in plants have long been understood. Expression in plants takes weeks, not months like traditional mammalian cell development. Facilities can be up and running in a much shorter timeframe. The opportunity to use our manufacturing platform to help the supply chain issues around squalene is exciting for both of our companies. We look forward to this collaboration with SynShark and feel the eyes of the pharmaceutical industry on us as we work together to change the source and quantity of squalene supply.”

About Phylloceuticals

Phylloceuticals’ partners are a rare group of individuals who came together in 2020 with an idea: Use their decades of joint experience to help get medicine to underserved markets in the world. The Phylloceuticals’ team brings deep sector experience in all facets of plants, biologics development, manufacturing and construction, and project and product launch. To learn more, visit

About SynShark

SynShark produces and supplies the highest quality terpene oils for the cosmetic and medical sectors. One of these is squalene. As an adjuvant, the natural squalene molecule plays an essential role in increasing cellular uptake of an antigen in vaccines. It’s the ‘why’ of the response of the immune system to squalene which remains an unknown. Plant-based production of squalene is the first of many cutting edge extracts and bio-actives SynShark will launch to replace unsustainable sourcing. To learn more, visit


Susan Stipa

EVP, Public Relations