From science to shelves: the development of MacuView
Study says MacuView helps with eye health and AMD
According to the study, the product significantly improves macular pigment optical density, visual acuity and plasma lutein concentration in healthy adult participants with regular signs of aging in the eyes, so called drusen, and/or retinal pigment epithelial abnormalities.
MacuView is formulated as a dairy drink available as a water dissolvable powder and in a new ready-to-drink format.
Developing the product
MacuView was developed by Dutch R&D company Newtricious for the improvement and maintenance of healthy vision, and to inhibit the progression of impaired sight such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the US.
“We developed this product to improve eyesight, we did that in the Netherlands with Academic Hospital Maastricht in 2007,” Jos Nelissen, CEO of Newtricious, told DairyReporter.
“Other products in the market are mainly focusing on end-stage AMD, where we focus from the beginning on healthy elderly.”
High amount of active ingredients
The product is based on a patented formulation of egg yolk and dairy, and contains ingredients that include lutein, zeaxanthin and DHA (omega-3); and all other vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in egg-yolk.
“It's 100% natural. We start with the chicken feed, which is a specific formulation. The active components bind into the egg yolk in a very specific way; that leads to a much higher bioavailability,” Nelissen said.
“We take the egg yolk out of the egg; the egg yolk has a higher amount of active ingredients. We combine the egg yolk with buttermilk into a dairy drink, and then we did a lot of consumer research.
“They asked for a powder, so we reformulated the drink into a powder and now the first formulation is a powder, but we have also developed a ready-to-drink formulation and we are working on a ready-to-drink with a long shelf life.
“It's a unique product that fits in the trends of the market. It's natural, it's healthy, and it has good scientific substantiation.”
Going to market
The company is now looking for partners around the world to bring MacuView to market.
“We are an R&D company, and we want to collaborate with partners who are capable of bringing this product to the market, so we are looking for strategic partnerships, to work with companies who are already in the market,” Nelissen told DR.
“We brought it to the market in the Netherlands just as a pilot, to learn from consumers. Now we are in discussion for introduction in all parts of the world, not only in Europe but also in the US and Asia.
“The basic product can be used in other products and with other tastes. You can incorporate it in fruit drinks. It can be used as an ingredient in other beverages.”
MacuView has featured in four clinical studies that included over 400 individuals.
The initial study was a one-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial conducted in adult subjects in Maastricht, the Netherlands, with ocular drusen and/or retinal pigment abnormalities.
The trial included 101 subjects, 52 in the MacuView group, and 49 subjects in the control group.
Results showed that participants consuming the MacuView drink had an improvement in sharpness of vision, compared to a decline in the control group.
Those taking the drink also saw a 94% increase in plasma lutein concentrations.
New study in different locations
A fifth multi-center study in the US, Germany, UK and the Netherlands is almost complete.
Sanne van der Made, senior R&D manager, told DR that the company invests a lot in scientific study, and the results are very important to back up promotion of the product.
“We've built the dossier properly. We need to look at the results from the new study. We did them in different parts of the world because we need to see the results in different parts of the world.”
"This study further confirms that MacuView has a profound effect on eye health," Nelissen said.
The was performed with financial support of EFRO (OP-Zuid), Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Province of Limburg and Newtricious R&D B.V.
Besides eye health, MacuView is in an ongoing clinical study tested on cognition, with results expected in the second quarter of 2016.