Phospha E extension for Nestle

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Atherosclerosis, Nutrition

Nestlé and Phosphagenics have extended the deadline for concluding
their agreement for the use of Phospha E in foods while the Swiss
firm incorporates Novartis Medical Nutrition into its portfolio.

Phospha E is derived from vitamin E and according to Phosphagenics initial studies indicate it may help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent the formation of plaque in heart arteries, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. In January 2007 the Australian-based Phosphagenics entered into an agreement with Nestlé for the firm to licence the product for use in nutritional products aimed at metabolic syndrome. The first human clinical trial for Phospha E is expected to take place in the next few months, which if successful would see the product commercially launched. Yesterday, after Nestlé and Phosphagenics agreed to an extension, the two companies announced they will also be able to take advantage of Nestlé's Novartis buyout to increase Phospha E's availability on the market. Phosphagenics president Harry Rosen said the overall aim of the deal between the two companies was to bring Phospha E to the market "as quickly as possible​." A spokesperson added: "As Phospha E would be marketed by the extended Nestlé enterprise, the acquisition of Novartis has the potential to increase the value of the arrangement between Nestlé and Phosphagenics. In these circumstances, it was considered by both parties to be premature to conclude their commercial arrangements before consolidation of Novartis activities."​ Nestlé bought Novartis Medical Nutrition in a deal worth US$2.5bn (€1.8bn), and plans to use it to springboard from a minor player in the medical foods market to the world number two. The deal has now received regulatory approval. The firm's agreement with Phosphagenics also came with a contribution towards the costs of a preclinical study, prior to a full-scale evaluation in humans. Phosphagenics said the exact details of the clinical trial were still being worked out, but it is due to start later this financial quarter. Two pre-clinical dose response trials finished in December, and the firm said the studies confirmed that when given orally, Phospha E significantly reduced many of the key biomarkers associated with metabolic syndrome, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the most appropriate dosage required to commence human clinical trials was also determined, however, Phosphagenics declined to comment further adding: "we are currently working with Nestlé Nutrition on the protocol for the clinical trial and on the terms of a commercial agreement." Phosphagenics also said that in these trials animals treated with varying doses of Phospha E were shown to have statistically significant reductions in key parameters such as plaque formation, aortic vascular dysfunction, cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-C, so-called bad cholesterol. Already Phospha E is sold as a dietary supplement by NBTY Inc, under the name of Ester-E, and is marketed worldwide in the personal care market as Vital ET by ISP Corporation.

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