Personal care ingredient startup Mirexus Biotechnologies to open in Ontario

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Personal care ingredient startup Mirexus Biotechnologies to open in Ontario

Related tags Canada

With funding from the Canadian government, Mirexus Biotechnologies is at work building a facility in Guelph where the company will use its new filtration process to extract glycogen from locally grown non-GMO sweet corn. The resulting ingredient will be sold for use in personal care and cosmetic product formulations.

John Dutcher, Anton Korenevski, Oleg Stukalov, and Erzebet Papp founded Mirexus Biotechnologies in 2008, according to the business data site And the company has raised over $15m in funding over the past years.

This latest $1m in funding comes from the Canadian government’s department of Agriculture and Agri-Food as part of its AgriInnovation Program and is meant to be repayed. The country’s 2017 budget, according to a press release about the investment in Mirexus, is “focused on agri-food as one of the top industries in our Government's Innovation and Skills Plan, an ambitious effort to make Canada a world leader in innovation, with a focus on expanding growth and creating good, well-paying jobs.”

“The Mirexus project is a leading example of innovation in the agriculture sector and a great success story for Guelph, because it helps local farmers while enabling an innovative start-up company to sell their cutting-edge, made-in-Canada products here in Canada and around the world,” ​Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, tells the press.

And, he adds, “This investment helps Mirexus establish their new plant right here in Guelph, which is expected to create over 70 well-paying new jobs.”

Nano naturals

Mirexus Biotechnologies produces a “proprietary bio-nano-material [known as] PhytoSpherix.” ​The ingredient “is composed of natural, corn-based, phyto-glycogen nanoparticles, which have the unique advantage of being safe, biodegradable and non-toxic,” ​as the company website describes it.

The new facility in Guelph, which is on schedule to be completed in summer 2018, will use a micro-filtration process to extract glycogen from sweet corn.

The company’s PhytoSpherix ingredient is marketed for many uses including as a stabilizer, film former, and encapsulant. And, Mirexus Biotechnologies notes that “as a multifunctional additive, PhytoSpherix can be used to improve skin hydration and barrier function, improve the feel of formulations, and enhance the performance of other actives by stabilizing them from thermo and/or photodegradation.”

Once open, the new Mirexus facility will “allow us to produce our unique material for markets around the world, leading to exciting applications in natural cosmetics, high performance nutrition and new human and animal health,” ​says Phil Whiting, the company’s president and CEO. “This investment by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, alongside investment from our other partners in the private sector, really sets us on the road to growth and prosperity.”

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