The product will be the third on the market to contain PepZin GI, a patented form of zinc-carnosine, which has been shown to interact with Helicobacter pylori, support gastric health, and relieve dyspeptic symptoms.
The ingredient is also sold in a supplement called Zinlori 75, marketed by Metagenics to healthcare professionals in the US and Europe. The supplement has been available in Japan for over a decade under the name Polaprezinc which is manufactured by Hamari Chemicals. Hamari also holds the patents on the compound and has exclusive worldwide distribution rights.
Michigan-based Access Business Group claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of branded vitamin and food supplements, with the Nutrilite products. It also develops cosmetics, air and water treatment systems and paper products.
"We were impressed by the number of clinical trials demonstrating the beneficial effects of PepZin GI," said Jim Roufs, head of New Concepts in the Nutrition R&D department at ABG. "And after reviewing the strength of the human studies as well as realizing just how many people are concerned about the health of their stomach, this clinically tested and effective approach fits well within our brand philosophy."
Dietary supplements to support digestive health are a relatively new category but gaining increasing attention with some of the biggest chemical firms investing in research into the benefits of new compounds.
The agreement is good news for Lonza, which may be holding onto its market position in supplement ingredients but at the group overall, profits have plummeted. The leading custom manufacturer of chemical intermediates and active ingredients reported worse than expected results last week, including a 59 per cent drop in net income.
CEO Markus Gemuend is to quit as the group tries to regain some of its momentum. It has already reduced its workforce by 9 per cent since May 2003 but overcapacities in custom manufacturing and a lack of new drug approvals last year will require further efficiency drives to include plant closures in the US and Europe.