Nuritas and Pharmavite agree AI approach to ‘transform’ dietary supplementation

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Nuritas' Emmet Browne and Dr Nora Khaldi. ©Kieran Harnett
Nuritas' Emmet Browne and Dr Nora Khaldi. ©Kieran Harnett
Nuritas and Pharmavite have entered into a partnership that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to discover bioactive peptides that promise a more targeted approach to dietary supplementation.

The agreement sees Nuritas apply its AI and DNA analysis technology to predict, unlock, and validate bioactive peptide ingredients that address one of the “21st​ Century’s biggest health and wellness concerns”​.

As consumer preference and healthcare necessity switches attention from treatment to prevention, nutritional supplements and functional foods plays a key role in the Nuritas Consumer strategy,”​ said Neil Foster, head of strategic partnerships at Nuritas.

“At all life stages consumers are taking more responsibility and ownership of their health. Be this optimising performance (whatever that may mean to each individual) in earlier life, or prolonging health and wellness as we age.”

Consumer dose forms

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Pharmavite a US manufacturer of vitamins, minerals and supplements, will formulate the peptides into consumer dose forms that include capsules, soft gels, hard shell capsules, gummies, liquid shots and powders with a view to conducting future clinical trials to test efficacy.

“Peptides are unique in chain length and solubility,”​ explained Dr Susan Mitmesser, vice president of science and technology at Pharmavite.

“Therefore, dosage form will depend upon the unique characteristics of the peptide identified through this research.”

While the “health and wellness concerns”​ of this deal were kept under wraps, Foster said both firms’ were “targeting a specific and high value area.”

“At Pharmavite, we’re committed to improving people’s lives and their nutritional status by raising the bar in scientific research, innovation and product development,”​ said Dr Mitmesser.

“We’re excited to partner with Nuritas to develop targeted nutritional solutions that deliver experiential benefits via the Artificial Intelligence and DNA analysis technology.”

Nuritas making gains

Since the formation of Nuritas back in 2014, the Ireland-based firm has sought to create a fully integrated AI and wet lab platform to harness the promise of AI to improve health.

Current ways to discover new active molecules is very much a random practice with this approach likened to searching the ocean for a treasure chest without a map.

With Nuritas technology, a “map”​ is created that enables the firm to identify peptides ten times faster and 500 times more accurately than traditional discovery methods.

However, as Foster highlighted, the complexity of biology-based data as well as the many knowledge gaps currently restrict the full potential of personalising approaches to health.

“We strongly believe that in the future people won’t remember how things were done before AI,” ​he said.

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“This will range from the discovery of new bioactives to the prediction of how they will work for each individual at a personal level.”

The deal with Pharmavite is the latest in a string of similar agreements with firms spanning the food and nutrition industry.

In December 2018, BASF introduced PeptAIde​, the world's first bioactive ingredient discovered and delivered through artificial intelligence (AI) via a partnership between BASF and Nuritas formed back in January 2017.

At the start of 2018, Nestlé and Nuritas announced a collaboration that focused on artificial intelligence based discovery of food-derived bioactive peptides​.

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