NutriLeads can start human clinical trialsPublished: 02-09-2016, | Member: NutriLeads
NutriLeads works on developing health-promoting ingredients for specific target groups. The first human clinical trials with an immune-boosting ingredient are in the works. Thanks to a four-party investment, NutriLeads can take the next step.
The first ingredient Nutrileads is looking to develop is the result of one of Unilever’s R&D programs. Ruud Albers, CEO of NutriLeads, explains how this came about: “A comprehensive review of the available scientific literature and information on the Internet about ingredients and extracts that could potentially boost the immune system initially suggested that Ginseng was a prime candidate for developing a health-promoting ingredient. Gingseng is a well-known and popular traditional remedy in Asia. The beneficial effects of certain Ginseng extracts on people’s resistance to respiratory infections was proven in several clinical trials, but it wasn’t feasible to put effective dosages of these extracts in food.” Research at Unilever uncovered which active components were responsible for the health benefits. According to Ruud Albers, the same functional components, known as IMPP-1, can be extracted from commercially grown food crops. NutriLeads is now taking this knowledge to the next level.
In May 2016 NutriLeads initiated a collaboration with DSM Nutritional Products to speed up development and to scale up production of IMPP-1. NutriLeads is currently performing its first clinical trial with the ingredient, but it’ll be at least three years before it can be brought to market.
“We think there’s great potential for boosting the immune system for instance in undernourished immune compromised patients. You can see what happens when people are sick. Patients lose their appetite, so their intake of food goes down, their immune system functions less well, making them more susceptible to infections and they start feeling even worse. It’s a challenge to break that vicious cycle. IMPP-1, our immune-boosting, plant-based ingredient, could be instrumental in that,” says Albers.
DSM Venturing, PPM Oost, Shift Invest and Thuja Capital are supporting NutriLeads with a seed investment. “We’re extremely happy with this financial impetus,” says Albers. “The great thing about these partners is that they know the business and have a wide network in the food and pharmaceutical industries. That will definitely benefit us in the years ahead.”