Jennewein Biotechnologie

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27.05.2020 Jennewein publishes new results on the norovirus-inhibiting effect of complex oligosaccharides

Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH today announces the publication of the latest results from its norovirus research program in the Journal of Biotechnology. Breast-fed infants are less likely than bottle-fed infants to contract norovirus infections, and earlier work has indicated a link between this protective effect and human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). In our previous study, we found that the most abundant HMOs, namely 2′ fucosyllactose (2′-FL) and 3 fucosyllactose (3-FL), can directly inhibit certain serotypes of norovirus by blocking interactions between the virus and its natural receptor. In this latest study, entitled “Biotechnologically produced fucosylated oligosaccharides inhibit the binding of human noroviruses to their natural receptors”, we extended our work to include additional HMOs such as lacto-N-fucopenatose I and even more complex oligosaccharides.

“With more than 600 million infections and 200 000 deaths per year and no treatment available, norovirus is definitely a global health problem, and a particular threat to infants, small children and the elderly,” states Dr Stefan Jennewein, CEO of Jennewein Biotechnologie. “Our company has been working for many years on the development of HMOs and other complex carbohydrates that bind to norovirus and prevent infections.”

Dr Katja Parschat, Co-Head of R&D at Jennewein Biotechnologie, adds: “Complex oligosaccharides such as HMOs can mimic the structure of the virus’s natural receptor on human cells, coating the virus and preventing it from interacting with its targets. We demonstrated this ability for 2′-FL and 3-FL in our previous study. But the development of more complex oligosaccharides, which mimic the virus receptors even more closely, allows us to significantly improve this protective effect.”