Enzymotec makes headway in Asia with Il Dong deal

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Heart disease Cholesterol Nutrition Myocardial infarction

Israeli biotech Enzymotec has signed an agreement with Il Dong to
take CardiaBeat into South Korea, under which they will develop
biofunctional consumer products for cognitive function and heart

The company has identified South Korea as a "strategic market"​, according to marketing manager Michal Ham-Bravman, who said the health supplements sector sees estimated retail sales of US$2bn - more than double what it was five years ago.

"The increase in the occurrence of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes - as well as consumers seeking self-medication production, are all important factors favouring launch of innovative products there,"​ she said.

Together Enzymotec and Il Dong, which has a nationwide division dedicated to food and nutritional products, plan to "acquire a leading position in the Korean nutraceutical market"​, said CEO Dr Ariel Katz.

Dr Katz told NutraIngredients.com that he hopes the deal will prove a springboard into more Asian markets, such as Japan, Singapore and China.

"In general the Far East is an interesting market for us, as people move from Eastern style to Western style foods, so there is a dramatic increase in heart disease and diabetes,"​ he said.

He explained that the new products under development with Il Don will have CardiaBeat as their core ingredient.

CardiaBeat is a formulation of enzymatically-derived phytosterols and diglycerides, the ingredient is an extension of Enzymotec's functional oil formulation MultOil, which has evidence to support its potential to prevent and control oxidative stress, reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and inhibiting the atherosclerotic plaque formation cascade.

CardiaBeat was originally developed with the needs of diabetics in mind. Diabetics are two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease than non-diabetics.

Insofar as products for cognitive management go, Katz said that three formulations are planned: for the elderly; children; and special needs such as children with ADHD.

Last month Enzymotec announced the addition of L- glycerylphosphorylcholine to its line-up of ingredients for cognitive health as part of a bid to offer solutions for every age group, mental capacity and price.

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