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DuPont adds cholesterol-fighting probiotic in deal with Spanish company

By Hank Schultz , 04-Jun-2014

DuPont adds cholesterol-fighting probiotic in deal with Spanish company

DuPont Nutrition and Health teamed up with a Spanish company to add a probiotic formulation targeting healthy cholesterol levels to its HOWARU line of probiotics.


The new formulation, called AB Life, has been developed by AB Biotics, based in Barcelona.  Under the deal,  AB Biotics will continue to push foward the science on teh ingredient, while DuPont will take over production and marketing.

“Probiotics is a major part of our nutrition and health business and our involvement goes back close to 50 years,” Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, vice president of Health and Protection for DuPont Nutrtion & Health told NutraIngredients-USA. “DuPont is one  of the leaders in the field and we havve a strategy to meet continued demand for these ingredients.”

Fast growing category

DuPont acquired the HOWARU line when it purchased Danish company Danisco in 2011.  Probiotics is one of the fastest growing ingredient categories in North America.  Even in Europe, where the messaging to consumers is complicated at the moment by the European Food Safey Auhtority’s  (EFSA) rejection of health claims connected to the ingredients, the word seems to be out, Saadane-Oaks said. 

“It is one of those bioactive ingredients recognized by the consumers who are demanding more and more of it.  The current global market is about $32 billion and expected to grow to about $45 billion by 2018,” she said.

AB Biotics is a multifaceted research and development organization targeting the dietary supplement and pharmaceutical industries.  In addition to AB Life, the company has developed an iron formulation that is now part of the Frutarom stable and a number of other probiotic and mineral ingredients.  The company is also developing genomic techonologies to measure individual patients’ tolerance of certain drugs. The company started in 2004 as a research spin out from the University Autònoma of Barcelona.

Market opportunity

Cardiovascular health is virgin territory for probiotics, and AB Biotics has data showing the effect of AB Life on cholesterol levels.  Its human trial conducted with 60 patients showed a 14% redcution in overal cholesterol levels over an 84-day period.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death globally. 43% of cardiovascular deaths arise from coronary heart disease and 32% from strokes, and elevated cholesterol is generally thought to increase the risks of heart disease and stroke.  Globally, a third of ischaemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol.

“This is the first time we expanded probiotcis into this area,” Saadane-Oaks said. “AB Biotics will continue to invest in the science so it is a very exciting opportunity.”

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