(Charlottetown, PE, February 26, 2015) Neurodyn Life Sciences announced today it has collaborated with one of the Island’s largest and most iconic greenhouse operations – Van Kampen’s Greenhouses – on a pilot study to grow a test plot of ginseng using a hydroponic growing method. It will be evaluated to determine the potential to create a stable, reliable, and clean local supply of one of the company’s key bioactives – Panax ginseng. Neurodyn has a need for a steady, clean (fungicide/pesticide free) supply of ginseng at an affordable cost for its ginsenoside-based products, NeuroPro® and Cerbella™.
NeuroPro® is a brain health supplement launched in the Fall 2013. Given its popularity and success, a second generation ginseng-based product, Cerbella™, is being developed and slated to be on the market in Spring 2015. Neurodyn is committed to producing products that meet the highest industry standards for purity and potency and faces increasing challenges in finding a clean and consistent source of ginseng extract.
“Despite what is happening in the international ginseng markets, we will not compromise the high quality of our products and are looking for innovative ways to grow our own supply of ginseng. Why look any further for experienced growers than our own backyard,” says Ken Cawkell, President & CEO of Neurodyn.
Van Kampen’s Greenhouses will grow the plants hydroponically. Unlike traditional ginseng production, this method greatly shortens the growing time, eliminates the need for fungicides, and may yield a more concentrated ginsenoside profile. The project is under the supervision of Charles Van Kampen, who has operated a commercial-scale hydroponic tomato crop for over 30 years and whose expertise is critical to the success of this study.
“Ginseng is a challenging crop that takes patience. The seeds are expected to take 20 weeks to germinate followed by a 14 week cold period and finally a 1 year growth term,” says Van Kampen. “We are excited and optimistic that PEI may soon be home to a new hydroponic ginseng operation.”
The project is expected to take a year and a half. Should the findings of this study meet expectations, Neurodyn is prepared to explore a full production operation in Prince Edward Island, making this local supplier the primary source of ginsenosides for NeuroPro® and Cerbella™.
The project is cost shared by the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program administered by the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Forestry in conjunction with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and is a comprehensive federal-provincial-territorial framework aimed at encouraging innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector.
About: Neurodyn Life Sciences (www.neurodyn.ca) is a Canadian biotechnology company focused on identifying, validating and developing natural compounds into both prescription drugs and natural products for the early treatment of neurological diseases.
About: Van Kampen’s Greenhouses is a Prince Edward Island greenhouse operation founded by a Dutch immigrant in 1959. Now a Charlottetown landmark, they are leaders in horticulture/floriculture production.