Managing director Peter Rothschild drew attention to the new opportunities that the patent affords, calling it "an important step in the work of developing a new generation of probiotics which are directed at specific indications."
He told NutraIngredients.com that the strains, some of which are Reuteri, are not currently on the market. The first indication that the company is looking to target now that the patent has been granted is inflammation caused by Helicobacter pylori, which is associated with gastroenteritis, stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
Research conducted by Biogaia has indicated that its Reuteri probiotic survives and colonises the human stomach, and directly reduces the number of Helicobacter pylori. This, in turn, reduces infection.
"Inflammation by Helicobacter pylori is such an indication which affects a large proportion of the population," added Rothschild.
Most Helicobacter pylori carriers are thought to be infected before they are five or six years old. For the majority, the only symptoms are gastroenteritis, although a few people develop stomach or duodenal ulcers. Less than one per cent go on to develop stomach cancer.
Future areas of development in the inflammation area may in include inflammatory bowel disease and joint health.
Rothschild said that the company's policy is to begin its patent process in the United States for technical reasons. It has filed patents on the strains and inflammation in other markets too.
The company already holds a number of other patents in the US, including one granted one year ago on lactobacillus strains with the capacity to reduce the number of streptococcus mutans in the mouth and prevent or reduce dental carries.