By Ora Coren

Nesher-based startup

Biota

will be joining forces with an Icelandic company and an Israeli nonprofit organization to develop medical adhesives.

Biota operates under the auspices of the Technion Enterprise Incubator of Haifa. It will be working together with Reykjavik-based company

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Bio Gels Pharmaceuticals

and the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Ltd, a nonprofit organization controlled by the Israeli government.

Bio-Gels Pharmaceuticals was spun off from the Pharmacy Department of the University of Iceland to develop drug delivery systems for mucosal membranes.

The consortium won a grant of 2 million euros from the European Union, under its fifth R&D program, and from the United States government.

Medical adhesives serve in the stead of staples or stitches to close wounds. Their potential market is estimated to be $2.5 billion a year.

The product to be developed will be based on algal bioadhesive proteins, which attach algae to wet surfaces under conditions comparable to those occurring in a surgical environment. Biota has already commenced work on algal adhesives. Bio Gels develops adhesive biological gels.