KitoZyme banking on novel prebiotic with new medical device platform

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

GasTrap: One of KitoZyme's medical devices
GasTrap: One of KitoZyme's medical devices
Belgian firm KitoZyme is planning a roll out of of medical device products that put restoring gut flora at centre stage, company told Nutraingredients after receiving two new certifications.

The company, which begun as a university spin-out, works primarily in the medical devices and nutraceutical supplements space with a focus on private label supply to major retailers and brands in Europe, Asia and the US, said sales and marketing Manager François Luthers.

Luthers  told NutraIngredients that the recent authorisations for two new medical devices – known as FibreSlim and GasTrap – are the start of a new platform of products that will focus on coupling long term gut health with alleviating short term symptoms by combining KitoZymes patented novel prebiotic fibres with other patented or long-standing market solutions.

“We are really looking to build a platform of products with this prebiotic. So we have two new products with the certification but the idea is to build a whole platform where we have the prebiotic and we add in a second ingredient that is already on the market and proven to be effective for a certain area – for example for the current two products a fat binder for a weight loss solution and simethicone for bloating and gas,”​ he said.

A third product, aimed at relieving moderate constipation is currently in the certification process: “This is based on the same rationale,”​ said Luthers . “We take a potent and effective ingredient, in this case is psyllium husk, and combine it with our prebiotic fibre.”

He said authorisation for this third product in the new platform should come by the end of March and the official launch of all three medical devices will take place at the Vitafoods Europe show in Geneva this May.

“We will keep going with this strategy and build a platform where you have restoration of the flora as a foundation and then adding a potent existing ingredient to treat a specific symptom or disease,”​ he said – noting that the company also has developments for the upper GI tract planned for 2018.

Focus on fungi

KitoZyme products in the new platform will be based on fibres isolated as part of its research on fungi and mushrooms, said Luthers – noting that its new FibreSlim medical device is the combination of two of its own patented fibres extracted from the cell walls of fungi. Peppermint extracts are also used.

“The formulation is based on our own patented fibres. There’s no secret ingredient. It’s our own two patented fibres in combination. One is a fat binder and the other is a prebiotic,”​ he said.

“It is a very interesting approach to weight management because it’s not only binding the fat but also restoring a healthy flora, and so not just having a natural approach but also a more long term approach to management. It’s not just about losing a few kilograms immediately, but also about taking care of your gut health for the long-term weight balance.”

While the company has authorisation to sell through the 28 EU member states, and is already in the process of introducing the products in selected countries, it is still looking for distribution partners.

“Specifically, we have partners mainly in Southern Europe and the UK but we are still looking in Germany, Scandinavia in Eastern Europe."

Evolving legislative landscape

When asked how proposed changes to stiffen medical devices legislation may affect the company, Luthers said the evolution of medical devices legislation is a good thing “because there were players on the market that were just taking some ingredients and trying to make them a medical device without looking really at the mechanism of action of the ingredient.”

“For us now the market is a little bit cleaner and that is important for us because we are investing a lot of money in to understanding the mechanisms of action for our ingredients and the ingredients we are sourcing,​” he said. “So we see it quite positively.”

However, he did note that some proposed changes have already meant that company has begun adapting its innovation and development strategy – adding that it will be more expensive to develop new products under the new proposals.

“It doesn’t really change a lot. There might be some limitations for innovation because some ideas that we have had at a very early stage maybe will not be possible anymore, but that is OK and the important thing is that the consumer is more protected.”

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