Australian start-up Kayban, CSIRO

develop new superbug fighter for superfood

By Darwin Malicdem on Decenber 02, 2015

​The world's first anti-microbial topical products made from organic flaxseed oil have been developed by an Australian start-up, called Kayban, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The products could be an alternative to ethanol-based products as fast-acting and effective treatment killing golden staph, a superbug that led to 1,621 hospital-acquired infection cases between 2013 and 2014.

Initial tests show that the new topical lotions and washes, called Bio3 Guardian, can significantly prevent the spread of infection, according to CSIRO. Flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is known for its anti-microbial properties.

"Our products contain a unique antimicrobial formula that uses natural flaxseed oil properties, instead of ethanol, to kill bad bacteria while leaving essential good bacteria intact," said  Kayban  Director Frank Palermo. Read More

Bio3 Guardian is a moisturising, all-natural alternative to products using ethanol, which could cause skin to dry and crack due to repeated use. Ethanol-based products, in some cases, can also increase the risk of developing conditions like dermatitis.

"That's going to benefit nurses, doctors and patients in hospitals and aged care homes who regularly need to use sanitisers and disinfectants to maintain hygiene or care for wounds," Palermo said.

Kayban hopes the Bio3 Guardian would provide their main revenue stream, and the company is planning to promote the innovation to the global healthcare market. Kayban and CSIRO have developed a method to extract the alpha-linolenic acid from organic flaxseed.

"What we've achieved is a smarter, more efficient process that’s been pivotal in Kayban's journey to commercialising a unique saleable product," said Dr Peter Duggan, an organic chemist at CSIRO.

The technology has been transferred to Melbourne-based CSIRO spin out, Boron Molecular, for extracting the flaxseed component on a multi-kilogram scale. Kayban will then work with a local manufacturer to formulate the end product.