Reducing waste is essential to MipSalus. A key priority for us is the utilization of the production polymer by-product. Only a relatively small parts of the MIPs polymer contains phenylalanine specific binding sites, meaning that the majority of the polymer cannot be used for the final product used to treat PKU. To minimize the waste production, we work on identifying other applications of the MIPs particles, and we have identified a number of interesting and valuable potential products which we will continue to explore.
Following use of a medicine taken to prevent, cure, or alleviate a medical condition, the pharmaceuticals inevitable enter the environment via patient excretion. Phelimin is made of synthetic polymer which is only degraded very slowly. It does, however, not contain plasticizer or other chemical additives that could cause serious harm to the environment. The only concern is thus that the MIPs particles themselves might end up in nature. The degree to which this might happen depends on the efficiency of the wastewater treatment plants in a given location. Most waste treatment facilities effectively reduce the concentration of microplastic in the wastewater and only a minor part ends up as microplastic emission to the aquatic environment. The majority of the microplastic entering the waste treatment facilities does, however, end up in the sludge which is commonly used as fertilizer by farmers. While this is a cause of concern, a Danish study indicates that the impact of microplastic in sludge on sludge-fertilized farmlands is low and that other sources – e.g. windborne litter – might be more significant when it comes to explaining the accumulation of microplastic in farmland soils (read more). As sewage treatment technologies are continuously improving, the level of microplastic in sludge could potentially be decreasing. Compared to other sources of microplastic emission such as clothes washing, the contribution of Phelimin to the overall emission will be inconsequential.