Ironic Biotech, Led by Peruvian Scientist, Secures €1 Million to Fight Iron Deficiency and Anemia

Iron deficiency affects up to 25% of the global population, predominantly women, leading to a myriad of health issues including severe exhaustion, fatigue, heart palpitations, and anemia. Addressing this widespread problem, Ironic Biotech, a Swedish biotech startup led by a Peruvian scientist Dr. Nélida Leiva Eriksson, has announced the successful closure of a pre-seed funding round totaling €1M. The round was led by Nordic Foodtech VC. This funding injection marks a significant step forward in the company’s mission to combat iron deficiency and anemia through innovative solutions.

Ironic Biotech has pioneered a new generation of plant-derived proteins containing iron, boasting high bioavailability and devoid of harmful side effects. These proteins, produced through precision fermentation, offer a scalable and sustainable alternative to conventional iron supplements. The company aims to integrate these proteins into food products and supplements, making them more accessible to those in need.

Dr. Nélida Leiva Eriksson, CEO and founder of Ironic Biotech, emphasized the critical need to address iron deficiency, particularly among women. She stated, “We want to help 2 billion people to prevent and recover from iron deficiency and anemia. The lack of iron is partly responsible for the performance gap between males and females, as women naturally lose iron regularly. The situation is widely unaddressed – a sad story that applies to many female health issues, iron deficiency not being an exception.”

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Traditionally, iron is sourced from red meat, but concerns over its environmental and health impacts are driving a shift towards plant-based diets. However, iron absorption from plant-based sources is often limited. Current iron supplements, while effective, frequently induce adverse effects such as digestive problems and nausea, hindering their widespread use. Moreover, treatments like iron infusion therapy remain prohibitively expensive for many.

Louise Heiberg, Investment Director at Nordic Foodtech VC, highlighted the potential of Ironic Biotech’s innovation to address global health challenges and transform dietary habits. “New ingredients like this enable the food industry to tackle a global health problem with new products. Worries about iron uptake are also a significant barrier to reducing the use of red meat in the Western diet.”

Unlike conventional supplements, Ironic Biotech’s patented compounds offer a tasteless, side-effect-free solution with absorption rates comparable to iron in meat. This breakthrough not only addresses iron deficiency but also aligns with the growing demand for plant-based dietary options.

With a team comprising experts in protein design, business development, and food innovation, Ironic Biotech is poised to make a meaningful impact on public health. Dr. Nélida Leiva Eriksson, drawing from her background in molecular biology, along with her experienced colleagues Eskil Åhlin and Hans Holm, is committed to empowering individuals, particularly women, to overcome the debilitating effects of iron deficiency.


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