Soluble Ferric Pyrophosphate: A Novel Iron Source for Individuals With High Iron Needs

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Biolink Life Sciences, Inc.
Cary, NC 27513
Principal Investigator


Iron (Fe) deficiency is the worlds most prevalent nutrient deficiency and causes both significant adverse health effects and enormous economic losses globally. Several groups, including infants, children, young women, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases remain vulnerable to Fe deficiency, despite Fe fortification of foods. All currently available iron supplements have limitations related to side effects and poor bioavailability, particularly in these vulnerable individuals. In related research on Fe sources that are compatible with lipid emulsions, we have identified a novel iron source, soluble ferric pyrophosphate (SFP), which has promise to overcome the limitations of conventional Fe sources. These SBIR Phase I studies are designed to verify the oral availability of SFP using a validated in vitro CaCo-2 cell culture method that is a current scientific standard. The research also probes the effects of uptake enhancers and inhibitors on SFP availability, in anticipation of use of SFP as a dietary supplement for individuals with high, unmet Fe needs. In addition, the data will shed new light on mechanisms of Fe uptake in the gastrointestinal tract. Successful Phase I research lays a firm foundation for extension of the studies in Phase II to use of SFP as a Fe fortificant in foods and subsequent commercialization by BioLink Life Sciences, Inc. or interested companies. If SFP proves to be the useful Fe supplement/fortificant that is anticipated, its availability as a food-grade substance and low cost should position it for distribution and marketing globally to eliminate iron deficiency.