We started off as
a few colleagues with a dream
Oleolive was developed out of science, unique collaboration and a need for something effective. Our story starts LIKE THIS:
The CTO, Dr. Jim Cardelli, and the COO, Dr. Alana Gray, of SUPER-OLI’s parent company, Oleolive, began working in the same building as me, the CEO, Kiley Grant. It was there that we began to find similarities in thought processes, goals and entrepreneurial desires. Jim and Alana, both being PhDs with strong scientific backgrounds, led the discussion around potential company formation in a biotech way, which I was fine with, since I had some experience in the field, too.
We worked together on a couple of projects as consultants and knew we had good chemistry. Jim and Alana had been working with the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) where they have a School of Pharmacy and some very exciting research being conducted. Jim also has a longstanding relationship with many of the faculty there and knew of a few things that were at the cusp of being fully developed.
We explored these different technologies and tossed many of them back and forth, but one kept sticking out as being extremely exciting with potential for big impact on human health. This technology was developed by Dr. Khalid El Sayed, a medicinal chemist and professor in the ULM School of Pharmacy.
The technology is a novel extraction and purification method for Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) phenolics, oleocanthal specifically. The reason we became enamored with this tech is because of the incredibly promising research by another professor who was at ULM at the time but is now at Auburn University, Dr. Amal Kaddoumi. Dr. Kaddoumi is researching the effects of oleocanthal on Alzheimer’s disease and her work has been picked up by many news outlets because it is so exciting. In addition, Dr. El Sayed’s research has demonstrated that oleocanthal acts as a potent anti-cancer agent in triple negative breast cancer, which currently has limited therapeutic options.
Now, both Dr. El Sayed and Dr. Kaddoumi are rounding out the Oleolive team as Chief Scientists making the company a powerhouse in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil space.
However, the potential doesn’t stop with Alzheimer’s. Oleocanthal and the other EVOO phenols have shown tremendous potential on many levels on everything from anti-aging (oleocanthal is a strong anti-oxidant) to the natural non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like qualities oleocanthal possesses.
We formed Oleolive for the purpose of making oleocanthal commercially available for the first time and allowing researchers, corporations and everyone in between to take advantage of the unique and extremely therapeutic qualities for the benefit of consumers.
Oleolive makes this possible through the technology originally licensed from ULM and the tacit knowledge within our core team. There is also an aspect to this I haven’t expanded on yet. We are not just sitting around hoping someone else does the Alzheimer’s research to help with the horrible disease; we are doing it. Through Drs. Kaddoumi’s and El Sayed’s expertise, we have recieved grant funding from the National Institute on Aging (where our proposal was met with excitement) and are exploring as many options as possible. This is our Ace in the hole. We want to not only be a catalyst for innovative research and products through our oleocanthal supply capabilities, we also want to be at the forefront of doing the research ourselves.
The story keeps evolving every day and there seems to be no end to the excitement.