Thursday, April 21, 2022

South India’s Sona Group 50:50 JV With Australia’s Mycelium Biotechnology

* To lead in Mushroom and Mycelium based extraction, research and drug delivery applications

South India’s diversified Sona Group has forged a 50:50 joint venture with Australia’s Mycelium Biotechnology Group to set up a state-of-the art Mycelium research and production facility in Salem.

Mycelium Biotechnology is an Australian group known for pioneering innovative solutions to optimise human and planetary health, using mycelium and other extracts from Mushrooms, an abundantly available and sustainable natural resource. As a global mushroom biotechnology group, Mycelium Biotechnology is engaged in mushroom growing, global distribution and offering biotechnology and nutraceuticals solutions through global partners.

According to Mr Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman of The Sona group, “We are happy to forge the Mycelium Sona Biotech joint venture with Australia’s Mycelium Biotechnology, a research focused world leader in Mycelium based products and solution provider. The partnership will leverage Sona Group’s research and innovation framework to add to the vast range of IP and patentable technologies.”

The JV named as Mycelium Sona Biotech (MSB) has set up a research facility at Salem to focus on Nanotech Research, IP development, Extract Manufacturing, Milling, Bottling and eCommerce. Billed as one of the largest mushrooms laboratories in India at Salem with best Global Manufacturing Practices, MSB laboratory will research and grow high end mushrooms, extract Mushroom and Mycelium compounds, produce nutraceuticals that conform to FSSAI and FDA certification.

“We see great opportunity in the Indian market moving forward. Sona’s background in health tech and research development is a perfect partnership for us to further advance our nano compound extraction IP. The launch of the first MSB facility in Salem comes at the most opportune time soon after signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and India” says Mr William Scott, Chairman of Mycelium Biotechnology group.

With R&D, Business and Distribution centres located across Australia’s East Coast as well as manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin (USA), Mycelium Biotechnology owns scores of IP. The bulk of this IP relates to cultivation methods and associated medium formulations for nearly 20 mushroom species, extraction processes of mushroom and mycelium biomass and formulations of mushroom extracts.

The medicinal mushroom industry is expected to grow exponentially as more and more of the 5.1 million mushroom species are researched. The global fungi industry is forecast to exceed USD $86B by 2025, up from $53.7B in 2019. Growth will be powered in part by culinary demand, but an even larger driver will be rising adoption by the pharmaceutical industry. Varieties such as Chaga, not ever seen on a dinner plate, are now in the supplement spotlight.

Some of the key portfolio companies expanding through the joint-venture include:

REMbiotics, one of the divisions of Mycelium Biotechnology, addresses the global issue of depression (MDD, TRD, PTSD) using specific mushroom mycelium bioactive compounds combined with Australian native bush foods for a beneficial and synergistic effect.

Preotica is an evolutionary life sciences company that has been focusing on enhancing animal immunity and microbial health. Utilising mycelium biotechnology extraction processes, the Preotica product has been able to produce some remarkable results, specifically in the poultry industry, aquaculture industry and for beekeepers across Australia.

Shroompac focuses on mushroom and mycelium-derived sustainable eco-packaging materials for industrial and consumer applications.

About the Sona Group

Founded by Kalaithanthai Karumuttu Thiagaraja Chettiar in 1920s, the Sona Group has pioneered India’s growth in the fields of agriculture, textiles, construction, IT, and education. Mr Thiagaraja Chettiar committed himself to setting up world-class institutions of higher learning in engineering.

The group’s IT services firm Vee Technologies provides to over 150 hospitals in the US, including six of the Top 20, handling their clinical coding and revenue cycle management in addition to providing e-learning and e-governance solutions.

The Sona Group of Education institutions include the NIRF ranked Sona College of Technology known for its cutting-edge research through its 35 R&D laboratories, the 64-year-old Thiagarajar Polytechnic College that enjoys the AICTE-CII status to mentor over 3,500 polytechnics in India and the Sona College of Arts and Science.

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