Oil and water don’t mix, but a special additive helps blend them with an endless number of potential uses, including delivering medicine intravenously, increasing the potency of vitamins, cleaning up environmental spills and flavoring drinks.
Alachua-based NanoSonic Products is leading the way in producing the additives, known as cyclodextrins, in large quantities at low costs.
“We’ve tapped a way to produce cyclodextrins in a powder form through an easier and faster process,” says President and CEO Rick Strattan. “My dream is to do as much good as I can for the end-user.”
NanoSonic, one of a family of companies under the umbrella of CTD Holdings, Inc., has begun producing cyclodextrin-complex powder with its one-of-a-kind pulse dryer specially designed for this purpose.
The pulse dryer, purchased from Pulse Combustion Systems, enables NanoSonic to produce the powder for as low as 10 cents per pound of water that’s evaporated, 1 percent of the $10 typical of freeze-drying.
The machine shoots a 900 degrees Fahrenheit jet of air at 500 mph, flash drying the cyclodextrins.
Jeffrey Tate, Pulse’s former president and general manager, has joined NanoSonic as its president and CEO. “There’s been no place to go if you want a ton of cyclodextrins,” Tate says. “I see the potential for this company to grow tremendously and provide a lot of good paying jobs in the community.”
As part of its plan to be a cutting-edge business, the company has installed a solar electric renewable energy system that provides all of its electric power needs, Tate says. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the company a $45,000 grant for the 34-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, covering 25 percent. The USDA also provided a $39,000 grant for a solar installation at Wendell’s Ace Hardware in Bronson.
Solar Impact of Gainesville was the solar contractor for both projects.
Scientists all over the world are conducting research on the uses of cyclodextrins, which make fats and some other substances water-soluble.
One use is treating children suffering from the rare disease Nieman Pick Type C—known as childhood Alzheimer’s disease.
NanoSonic is providing cyclodextrins used in intravenous fluids that help remove cholesterol from children with the disease. The treatment is being used successfully to treat twin girls who have the disease.
“We’re helping reduce the cost of the treatment, which has been running $25,000 a year per child,” Strattan says.
The treatment was featured in a Wall Street Journal article, which noted that the Ara Pareghian Medical Research Foundation, named for the former Notre Dame football coach, supports research on the treatment. Pareghian lost three grandchildren to childhood Alzheimer’s.
Another emerging use of cyclodextrins is to form compounds that increase the amount of vitamins that the body absorbs. Many of today’s vitamin supplements aren’t absorbed by the body.
When Strattan founded the company in 1990, cyclodextrins were not well-known, he says. In the early years, his main customers were researchers who needed relatively small amounts of cyclodextrins.
CTD Holdings is approaching $1 million in annual sales, and it expects a massive increase as it provides cyclodextrins at reduced costs and their uses increase.
The company moved into a 10,000-square-foot building near the Progress Corporate Park this summer. It plans to add another pulse drying machine and to build additional buildings at its site as demand increases, Tate says.
The company is publicly traded on the OTCQB Exchange under CTDH.
NanoSonic, a member of the CTD Holdings family of companies
14120 N.W. 126th Terrace, Alachua
www.ctd-holdings.com • 386-418-8060