An invitation to a University of Auckland Bioscience Enterprise Friday Forum, sponsored by NZTE

Date: Friday 12 July, 2013
Time: Presentation 4:30pm, followed by drinks and nibbles
Venue: SBS Reception Lounge (Common Room)

Title: Is A2 for you?
Presented by A2 Corporation’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Andrew Clarke

Rarely – never? - has a food caused so much controversy. A2 Corporation does not make any health claims about its milk – it is not even really a functional food – it excludes a protein variant that appears not to be associated with certain conditions.

A2 milk is a natural variant of ordinary milk produced by a natural genetic variant of ordinary cows. The debate about the science behind A2 can be passionate; the evidence that, for some people, ordinary milk increases the symptoms of a range of intolerance type responses and neurological conditions, coupled with linkages to a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes and heart disease this may have significant implications to subsets of populations and lead to future nutigenomic applications.

A2 Corporation’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Andrew Clarke is an alumni of the U of A’s School of Biological Sciences. Andrew completed his PhD with Prof Garth Cooper and then joined Protemix, characterizing targets of drugs in pre-clinical trials. This was followed by two years as a consultant to both biotech start-ups and potential investors before joining A2 Corporation and publically listing the company (NZX:ATM) to aid in the commercialisation of its unique technology. We are delighted to welcome Andrew as the guest speaker at this month’s forum to discuss A2’s proprietary milk and the insights gained as A2 have commercialised their product.

Beta- casein is one of the most important proteins found milk. Genetic variation results in two main forms of this protein, known as A1 and A2. Bioactives formed during the digestion of beta- casein are important in the transport of essential ions and nutrients. However, one of the products of digestion of the A1 form is a fragment known as BCM-7. This fragment has strong opioid properties and is widely believed to have the potential to interfere with the immune system in people with particular genetic susceptibilities. It has also been shown to catalyse the formation of oxidised LDL, an established risk factor in the development of arterial problems. Current research includes establishing the molecular mechanism by which BCM-7 affects cellular inflammation, which was presented to ICFSN2013 in London earlier this week (8 July).

The A2 form does not produce BCM-7. It is this small difference that gives A2 milk, containing only the A2 form of beta-casein, its selling point. With seven patents covering the supply chain from testing through to composition and use A2 has been able to produce a highly protected brand.

Between the skeptics, legal issues and ‘learning experiences’ with licensing partners A2 has not had an easy road, even by biotech standards. However, with its seven patents behind it, plus its own manufacturing plants, plus distribution in Australia, China and the UK, plus a strong and rapidly growing market share in the specialty milk sector, the future is looking positive.

You are warmly invited to join us to hear A2 Corporation’s CSO, Dr Andrew Clarke, discuss the process of successfully developing the value of A2 milk.

All welcome. RSVPs to Margot Bethell for organizational purposes would be greatly appreciated. Please email director@bioscienterprise.ac.nz or phone (09) 923 9625 or 0274 305 758.