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03. Why krill oil
04. The trial
05. Krill
06. Sustainability
07. Lupus
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10. Partnership
A New Quest for Drug-Free Lupus Relief. The first non-industry driven clinical trial initiated as a specific response to patient wishes.

Our deep-sea search for a lupus Solution

What if a deep-sea creature could help provide relief from lupus symptoms? In a new partnership, Aker BioMarine and the Lupus Research Alliance will dive deep to uncover a possible natural alternative solution for this underserved market.

Our mission is to investigate the potential benefits of a special type of krill oil for people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). We believe that the unique characteristics of a concentrated krill oil may help lessen the severity of symptoms associated with lupus and improve quality of life.

Lupus is a devastating disease, and it’s not receiving the attention it deserves. We’re here to try and change that – starting now.

Scroll down to learn more about how krill oil may help fight lupus.


Inflammation is a major symptom that lupus patients must keep under control. The availability of a dietary supplement to that could help reduce the effects of inflammation would be beneficial, particularly because immunosuppressants currently used are hard to tolerate for most of us with lupus, and overall we take more than enough medications.
Sylvia, living with Lupus

Did you know that many lupus patients have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids?1-4

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient proven to play a crucial role in managing inflammation – a symptom that is often present in most healthy people but is even further exacerbated in people with autoimmune conditions such as lupus.5-12 Furthermore, emerging research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may also have anti-autoimmune properties.5-13

In one human clinical trial at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, 27 lupus patients were given an omega-3 rich oil, and the results were astonishing. The patients had a remarkable improvement in their quality of life and a significant reduction in overall inflammation and fatigue.14

Other human clinical trials and animal studies have suggested that the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may help ease the symptoms of lupus.15-26

For this trial, we strongly believe in krill's unique properties. In particular, krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are bound to phospholipids, which significantly helps your body’s cells absorb the omega-3s better.27

At Aker BioMarine, we use a unique extraction method that increases the levels of phospholipids in our krill oil and boosts the efficiency of the omega-3s.

Krill oil also contains the naturally occurring nutrients choline and astaxanthin.28-35 Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that gives krill their reddish-pink color. Recognized for the health-promoting suppression of free radicals, astaxanthin protects the omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation, which means no additives are needed to maintain freshness and long-term stability of krill oil. 

Considering all these factors, we believe krill oil’s unique properties make it a superior choice for our trial.

Please know that we are still in the investigation stages of this research and no product is currently being marketed. None of the statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product being used in this trial is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Source: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Our hope for a brighter future

In partnership with the Lupus Research Alliance and Lupus Therapeutics, Aker BioMarine is initiating the first krill oil trial in people with lupus - a clinical trial involving a highly concentrated form of krill oil and 76 patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

The trial will enroll 76 people with lupus across 20 academic research centers from within the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN). This network includes leading lupus clinical investigators throughout North America.

During the trial, patients will receive a daily 4-gram dosage of omega-3 rich krill oil from Aker BioMarine. Over the 12-month course of the trial, patients will be closely monitored for potential improvement in their lupus symptoms.

The primary goal is to determine if a concentrated form of krill oil can restore normal omega-3 levels in people with lupus, therefore reducing flare-ups and debilitating symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, and more. As a result, those with lupus may be able to rely heavily on natural solutions as part of their daily regimens.

Because lupus is a highly complex disease with many different symptoms, this clinical trial is one of the most challenging projects we have ever attempted.  There has never before been a study researching the benefits of a phospholipid-rich krill oil in people with lupus, specifically.

Lupus is an everyday struggle for those living with it, their families, and their friends. At Aker BioMarine, we're dedicating our resources in hopes of finding a way to improve the quality of life for people with Lupus.

We hope to help relieve the joint pain, fatigue, and never-ending cascade of symptoms that unfairly rob lupus patients of their livelihood.


A small but mighty creature

Krill, tiny marine creatures that resemble shrimp, are an important part of the ocean's ecosystem. They feed on the nutrients in naturally occuring microalgae and are an important food source for marine life such as fish, penguins and whales. 

Scientists estimate that there are up to 6 billion tons of krill in the Antarctic ocean alone – more than any other species on the planet. In fact, krill swarms are so large that they can be seen from outer space.

Because krill are at the bottom of the food chain, the harvest of krill has a low ecological footprint. High levels of the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are major components in krill oil, have documented health benefits for the heart, brain and joints, making krill an effective and sustainable source of important nutrients.

A sustainable voyage

You can trust where this krill oil comes from!

The krill oil used in this clinical trial is derived from a species of krill located only in the pristine, frigid waters of Antarctica, Euphausia superba. Aker BioMarine harvests the krill from these waters, taking extra precautionary steps to protect and conserve the Antarctic ecosystem as well as the quality of the krill harvested.

Fishing in these areas is strictly regulated, and Aker BioMarine works closely with its stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the fishery. In 2017, for the third year in a row, the krill fishery in the Antarctic was the only reduction fishery worldwide to receive an “A” rating for sustainability from the Sustainable Fisheries.

Read more about the sustainable mission here. 

Aker BioMarine is a vertically integrated company within the krill fishing and processing industry. Our custom built vessels process krill meal immediately after it arrives onboard, via our Eco-Harvesting technology. The fishing location is permanently recorded.

Once responsibly harvested, the precious, phospholipid-bound omega-3s and other important nutrients, like astaxanthin and choline, are extracted from the krill. We never use additives, fillers, or harmful chemicals when processing the krill. The result is an extremely pure krill oil with a deep ruby red color.

The krill oil used in this trial is transported from the Antarctic Ocean to a processing facility in Houston, Texas, where the krill oil is produced using a patented and exclusive technology called FlexitechTM.

What is lupus?

Lupus: The Great Imitator

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects at least 5 million people around the world. Lupus confuses your immune system, causing it to attack your own body. Commonly referred to as the "great imitator," lupus symptoms are often mistaken for other diseases. While lupus is more common in women, anyone can be affected.

Lupus sometimes feels like a bad rollercoaster ride with no end in sight. With an average 6-year diagnosis time, people with lupus are often left feeling hopeless and misunderstood, all the while suffering from various confusing symptoms.

Even worse, the current treatments for lupus are limited and many of treatments cause unwanted side-effects.

At Aker BioMarine and the Lupus Research Alliance, it is our sincere hope that this clinical trial opens the doors to a new way to manage lupus, naturally and effectively.


What is the background for this trial?

Lupus is a disease that has not received enough attention. Frustrated by insufficient scientific initiatives for lupus, the Lupus Research Alliance initiated a program to identify and accelerate the development of safer and more effective lupus therapies.

Aker BioMarine is a science-driven biotech firm that is dedicated to improve human and planetary health. After being approached by the Lupus Research Alliance in 2014, we recognized that one of our krill oil concentrates could potentially help those with lupus. While exploring the effects of krill in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), we realized that we had a potential to contribute to advancing science in lupus. In collaboration with the Lupus Research Alliance, we've worked hard to design a clinical trial investigating the benefits of our concentrated krill oil in patients with SLE.

What type of trial is this?

This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multicenter study in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Participants will be divided into two groups and given either a concentrated krill oil product or placebo for 24 weeks (randomized period) followed by an open-label extension treatment with the krill oil product for the next 24 weeks. In this open-label period both groups are given krill oil. The Coordinating Investigator will be Dr. Jane Salmon from the Department of Medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. 

For more information about the trial click here

When will the trial begin?
The trial is currently underway, with patient recruitment beginning June 2018. The trial will last 12-months. Click here to learn more about the trial.
Can you keep me updated on the progress of the trial?
Yes! Click "Join us" to enter your email, and we’ll notify you of important updates on the trial.
Can I participate in this trial?
As of right now, the recruitment process is not yet started. However, discovering an effective solution for lupus would be close to impossible without the efforts of the caring people who participate in clinical trials. Lupus Trials selects all the participants for all of Lupus Research Alliances' studies. For more information about the krill oil trial, all other clinical trials on lupus, and the possibility of participating in one, please visit Lupus Trials.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Please feel free to share this website to help spread awareness. You can also click "Join Us" to show your interest in this initiative.
Who is Aker BioMarine?
Aker BioMarine is a global biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company based in Oslo, Norway, with production facilities in Houston, TX. It’s the only krill oil supplier in the world that controls the entire supply chain with absolute transparency. To Aker BioMarine, human and planetary health are extremely important, and a cornerstone of its operations is the belief that everyone should have access to quality nutrition and good health without compromising the future of our planet. For this reason, Aker BioMarine is committed to making a meaningful difference in the awareness and treatment of lupus.
What is Aker BioMarine's role in this trial?
Lupus Research Alliance approached Aker BioMarine about the opportunity to explore the effects of krill oil in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Aker BioMarine is a proud sponsor and will provide funding and the concentrated krill oil product used in this trial. Aker BioMarine has collaborated with the Lupus Research Alliance on study design and protocol development.
What is the Lupus Research Alliance?
The mission of the Lupus Research Alliance is to improve the current treatments for lupus and, ultimately, discover a cure. To learn more, please visit their website here.
What is the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN)?
Created in 2016 by the Lupus Research Alliance (LRA), the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN) is comprised of some of the most reputable academic research centers and lupus experts throughout North America. LuCIN helps develop clinical trials for lupus and works to better understand this complicated disease, bringing us one step closer to a cure every day.
Is krill oil safe?

Numerous studies have shown that krill oil is a safe and effective way to increase one's omega-3 levels.1-2 Furthermore, the FDA has certified krill as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). However, krill oil may not be appropriate for individuals with certain health conditions or shellfish allergies.

Source: 1 2


Does krill oil have side-effects?
Krill oil is generally well tolerated and to the knowledge of Aker BioMarine, no severe side-effects have been reported in relation to its use as a dietary supplement. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted krill oil a GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe)-status, reflecting that the safety of krill oil has been documented. However, people who are taking an anticoagulant, are or may be pregnant, or have a seafood, shellfish, or shrimp allergy should exercise caution and discuss the use of any supplement with their primary care physician.
Which krill oil product is used in the trial?
AKBM-3031 is a highly concentrated form of krill oil from Aker BioMarine. It is extracted from the species of the crustacean krill known as Euphausia superba, which are found only in the Antarctic Ocean. The krill oil is concentrated to contain approximately 56% phospholipids, in comparison to regular krill oil which contains about 40% phospholipids. The increased phospholipid content in AKBM-3031 may help cells better absorb essential omega-3 fatty acids. The oil is extracted using a patented and exclusive technology called Flexitech™, which results in improved smell and taste when compared to other oils. Furthermore, the oil is also certified 100% sustainable and traceable to the exact GPS location where the krill was harvested.
What are the benefits of krill oil?

Krill oil is a rich source of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and choline.3-12 Krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Recognized for the health-promoting suppression of free radicals, astaxanthin protects the omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation, which means no additives are needed to maintain freshness and long-term stability of krill oil. Furthermore, the omega-3s in krill are attached to phospholipids, a molecule that makes up the structure of cells. You can imagine phospholipids as a box that carries the omega-3s directly into your body's own cells. Krill oil is also extremely pure. Because krill are found at the bottom of the ocean's food chain, they don't accumulate harmful toxins like mercury and PCBs. Aker BioMarine has provided to the ORKIDS trial a naturally extracted krill oil that does not contain any additives, fillers, or harmful chemicals. Studies on healthy populations have shown several benefits of
krill oil.14-24

Source: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

What is the difference between krill oil and fish oil?
Krill oil and fish oil are different in many ways. The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are bound to phospholipids, a molecule that can increase cellular absorption of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The presence of phospholipids makes krill oil extremely effective for increasing omega-3 levels, something that may be important for lupus patients. In addition to its omega-3s, krill oil contains the highly beneficial nutrient choline and the naturally occurring antioxidant astaxanthin. Another advantage of krill oil is its purity. Because krill are near the bottom of the food chain and are sourced from clean Antarctic waters, they’re free from many harmful contaminants.


The Lupus Research Alliance
The mission of the Lupus Research Alliance is to improve the current treatments for Lupus, and, ultimately, discover a cure. To learn more, please visit their website.
click here to read more at lupusresearch.org
The Clinical Trial
The clinical trial protocol is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov. Here you can find more specific and detailed information regarding the clinical trial assessing the effects of krill oil in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Click here to get into the details


In the search for an answer to lupus, Aker BioMarine and the Lupus Research Alliance, and it's affiliate, Lupus Therapeutics are partnering for the first time. The combination of scientific knowledge of lupus and innovative marine biotechnology makes this a powerful and important partnership. 

Together, we’re committed to helping those with lupus have a brighter, healthier future. With this we are demonstrating to patients a commitment to assist therapies beyond classical drug trials.

Lupus_Therapeutics_logo (002)


We are very pleased to work with Aker BioMarine on bringing a potential therapeutic option to people with lupus. The company is thoroughly testing the effectiveness of krill for this group of patients through well-designed scientifically rigorous clinical studies. 

Kenneth M. Farber, CEO and President of the Lupus Research Alliance