About Denali BioTechnologies Inc.
Who We Are
Denali BioTechnologies Inc. was founded in 2006 by biochemist and food scientist Maureen McKenzie, Ph.D. as the sister research and development company to Denali BioTechnologies LLC, which was founded two years earlier. The LLC was established through the help of a substantial United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant to determine if Alaska’s wild berries could be developed and commercialized.
After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulations in 2007, it became clear that the demonstration company and processing facility the LLC had set up in Kenai, Alaska, would not be able to meet these stringent new standards. The LLC was dissolved and the owners left the business.
Fortunately, the decade of research and development efforts initiated by Dr. McKenzie while affiliated with the company was not lost. Denali BioTechnologies Inc. absorbed the intellectual property and state-of-the-art processing equipment of the LLC; is building a new GMP-compliant facility in Homer, Alaska; re-established key relationships with harvesters; and is back on track to carry out the original vision of the company.
What We Do
Through our research, we have identified and prepared for commercial production numerous dietary supplement ingredients, all made from wild and whole Alaska plants and seafood of the highest potency and purity and delivered as dried flakes or in powders of specified mesh sizes.
Our first research efforts were centered on blueberries. When we discovered the startlingly high flavonoid content of wild blueberries grown in near 24-hour sunlight, we knew we were onto something. Now AuroraBlue®, made from Alaska blueberries and bilberries, is our flagship product.
In the years since, we have:
- Identified over 150 kinds of plants, seafood, and microbes with potential nutritional and/or pharmaceutical applications
- Expanded our Aurora line to include AuroraGreen® (Alaska meadow dandelions) and AuroraRed® (Alaska rose hips)
- Created an entire line of single whole berry and edible herb concentrates, coming soon!
How We Work
Denali BioTechnologies Inc. works in partnership with Alaska Natives and other local people. We call it a partnership because that is truly how we see it. We do not directly employ any growers or harvesters, nor do we tell anyone how to run their business or manage their land holdings. We simply provide the food-grade buckets and liners, boxes, and freezers our partners need so they can go out and harvest berries and other botanicals on land they own or hold the rights to utilize.
We have been working with large Alaska Native corporations, village corporations, tribal councils, and private Alaska citizens since 2005 to increase economic opportunity in remote rural areas. Many of these communities have experienced the destabilizing economic and social effects of boom-and-bust cycles characteristic of traditional Alaska industries such as logging and fishing. An integral part of our mission at Denali is to bring sustainable financial opportunity to these regions.
What We Value
At Denali, we hold certain values dear, and they influence every single decision we make. These include:
- Ethical behavior
To us, engaging in ethical behavior means always making the right choice — not the choice that is most expedient. In our every action, we strive to be honest, open, reasonable, and just.
- Cultural respect
We honor the Alaska Native people with whom we partner, as well as their tremendous knowledge of indigenous plants, and our products benefit from it. For example, at the advice of the Native elders, our AuroraBlue® complex includes not just berries but a sprinkling of leaves and stems because these plant parts deliver health-promoting compounds not present in the fruits.
- Sustainable practices
All Denali products are wild-harvested on land that has never been cultivated, nor been exposed to any kind of industry. As a result, they contain no pesticides or herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, human-introduced hybridization, or genetically modified organisms.
- Healthful offerings
Denali is the fruit of our founder’s passion to commercialize the value of traditional wild Alaska plants, so that more people may benefit from their health-giving properties.