Quebec-based Advitech acquired the rights for Dermylex in 2003 and has since taken it through further clinical trials. The company has announced various distribution agreements, but the Jamieson deal was previously limited to pilot locations.
The announcement is the first exclusive nationwide distribution deal in a long list of plugs Advitech has backed for the whey-derived ingredient it says could offer an alternative to aggressive drug treatments. Advitech claims to have strong sales already and would now like to secure a similar arrangement south of the border.
"We're in discussions for the United States," Advitech president and CEO Renaud Beauchesne told NutraIngredients-USA.
An estimated 6 million adults in North America suffer from the skin disease psoriasis, potentially opening-up a large market for a natural oral alternative, such as Dermylex, to target the condition.
Dermylex is a patented blend of naturally derived bioactive peptides that comes in the form of a tablet to be taken orally.
"This product is ideal for consumers suffering from mild to moderate psoriasis," said Jamieson brand manager Tracey Mazza. "It's an affordable, effective and safe solution and we are pleased that it is now widely available across the country through our many pharmacy and retail partners."
Psoriasis is an immune system disorder that currently has no cure. Sufferers with mild to medium forms of the condition have had to resort to topical therapies or aggressive drug treatments with significant side effects.
The three-year distribution agreement Jamieson was originally announced last March and pilot distribution began in July of that year.
"It was very well received," said Beauchesne of how Dermylex performed in terms of sales in Canada. "Clearly we were well above the sales expectations of Jamieson."
Jamieson has moved the product into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, but is still in the process of bringing it to other Canadian regions. Beauchesne expects this will be complete by March 2007.
Advitech said results of a study involving Dermylex are currently in press, to be published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery.
According to the company, the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial saw reduced scaly plaques and itching compared to a placebo. The data were collected 56 days after the start of the trial and the improvement is said to have been maintained over another period of 56 days at the same dosage.
In its initial research and development phase, Dermylex was known as XP-828L.
Advitech hoped to roll out Dermylex by 2004, but then delayed while it carried out placebo-controlled clinical trials with the aim of giving the product weight with dermatologists and suppliers.
As part of the market test program with Jamieson, Dermylex was initially distributed in some drugstores and pharmacies in Quebec City and Toronto starting in April 2006.
Advitech also recently signed an agreement in principle with Associated Medical Supplies Company from Hong Kong for distribution of Dermylex in the Hong Kong and Macao markets. And the company is negotiating with partners in other countries to expand distribution for 2007.
In another recent initiative, the company enlisted a former Canadian Olympian to promote the ingredient nationally.