I-Tech sets its sights on large-scale Selektope® production in Europe

I-Tech sets its sights on large-scale Selektope® production in Europe

To satisfy increasing customer demand for antifouling coatings including Selektope® in the marine market, Swedish bio-technology innovator I-Tech AB plans to evaluate an advanced European manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates as its large-scale production partner in Europe.

Within an agreed timetable, I-Tech and its potential manufacturing partner aim to optimize and adapt I-Tech processes for production of Selektope® at scale at an existing plant. The development program is of strategic importance for I-Tech as it supports the company’s long-term aim to continuously strengthen the supply chain and maximize the delivery capability for Selektope®.

Having recently acquired the IPR and technical expertise to undertake the Selektope® synthesis, and appointed a new supply chain and logistics manager the new initiative aims to further strengthen the I-Tech supply chain, and improve the competitive edge in its key markets.

Selektope®, chemically known as medetomidine, is an organic, non-metal compound that is very efficient at preventing barnacle fouling when used in traditional marine coating systems. Characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w) with ultra-low leaching, the biocide repels barnacle settlement on ships’ hulls by temporarily stimulating the barnacle larvae’s swimming behavior. Tests have shown that antifouling coatings containing Selektope® offer superior hard fouling protection, resulting in lower water resistance and decreased fuel consumption, in addition to reduced maintenance costs.

Philip Chaabane, CEO I-TECH AB, comments: “In recent years, I-Tech has been successful in scaling up the production of its unique technology from quantities measured in kilos to a robust manufacturing platform producing at multiple tons scale. As customer demand continues to increase, it is important for I-Tech to develop redundancy as well as competitive scale in its manufacturing capability. This evaluation program supports our long-term goals for Selektope® to prosper and meet increasing demand in key markets”


Biofouling during outfitting at South Korean shipyards drives high demand for Selektope® antifouling solution

Biofouling during outfitting at South Korean shipyards drives high demand for Selektope® antifouling solution

As global water temperatures increase, global ‘biofouling hotspots’ in subtropical/tropical areas are intensifying, exposing newbuildings at the world’s major shipyards to greater risk of hard fouling during the outfitting process. The effects of intense hard fouling on idle newbuilds can have great impact on a newly applied hull coating and on a vessel’s performance in sea trials.

In response to this problem, a new antifouling coating specifically targeting hard biofouling prevention during the outfitting period was brought to market by Danish marine coatings specialist Hempel in late 2017. GLOBIC 9500S includes the unique antifouling ingredient Selektope® as part of its ‘smart biocide package’ that delivers boosted static performance against hard fouling for ships with extended idle periods.

Philip Chaabane, CEO I-Tech AB, says: “Our product is boosting the performance of sophisticated antifouling systems under harsh fouling conditions, such as those experienced during outfitting at shipyards in South Korea. Selektope® is clearly adding value to the coatings products that the major coating manufacturers offer.”

Selektope® is an organic, non-metal compound that repels barnacle settlement on ships’ hulls by temporarily stimulating the barnacle larvae’s swimming behavior. It is characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w), is ultra-low leaching and offer paint manufacturers the flexibility to boost copper-based paint formulations or replace copper completely. Due to the low concentration required, Selektope® does not compromise the chemical structure, color or other cooperative biocides of a marine coating.

This first-of-its-kind antifouling technology caught the attention of coatings suppliers in the early stages of its research and development. To-date, several products have been launched onto the market and the number of Selektope®-containing coatings being sold by different manufacturers is increasing year-on-year.

I-Tech AB, the Swedish biotechnology company behind the development of Selektope®, recently responded to strong market demand for the antifouling ingredient in South Korea by appointing KhaiEL as Selektope’s exclusive importer and agent. Under the new agreement, I-Tech will continue to manage sales of Selektope® in South Korea while KhaiEL will exclusively handle imports.

“We are delighted to be working with such a highly reputed company in KhaiEL to strengthen the supply of Selektope® to South Korea. This business relationship reflects the need to address increasing demand for our product in South Korea, particularly from the shipyards and many owners running risks of extended idling, whether during newbuilding or operations,” says Philip Chaabane.

“KhaiEL is very proud to partner with I-Tech to represent the highly innovative Selektope® technology in the Korean market,” says Paul Cho, Marketing Director KhaiEL.

South Korea is a key market for I-Tech. The company believes that coatings containing Selektope® play a vital role for shipyards located in biofouling hotspots with its barnacle-repellent technology.


Ship Owners



  • Reduced fouling and improved fuel saving
  • Extended static performance
  • Reduced need for hard scrubbing through excellent performance against barnacle induced fouling
  • Reduced risk of transporting invasive aquatic species
  • Improved environmental profile by reducing biocide loadings in antifouling formulations