Consisting of the probiotic strains BB-12, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, TH-4 Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. Infantis, the product is now available in Europe and the US through customer partnerships.
“Preterm infants typically have an unbalanced intestinal microbiota making them vulnerable to infections and certain life-threatening diseases,” explains Chr. Hansen’s senior scientific advisor Ulla Holmboe Gondolf.
“This three-strain probiotic product with different strains and different species has been shown to provide functional advantages for the preterm population.”
The blend’s potency is supported by two clinical trials that suggest the product plays a role in reducing NEC risk by 50% that together enrol over 1,200 preterm infants born two months or earlier than due date.
Two NEC studies
While the first study found the probiotics tested were safe and reduced NEC of Bell stage 2 or more in very preterm infants, the team also stated the blend did not reduce late-onset sepsis or mortality.
The second study, performed in 2005, also concluded that probiotic supplementation reduced both the incidence and severity of NEC in the team’s premature neonatal population.
Chr Hansen joins Biogaia and Yakult in making probiotic-focused products available that address NEC, an inflammatory disease that is the leading cause of mortality worldwide for preterm babies.
The cause is thought to be an underdeveloped or damaged intestine prompted by a number of complications including lack of blood or oxygen to the intestine, injury to the intestinal lining or bacterial growth on the intestinal wall.
Swedish firm Biogaia and its Protectis product uses the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri whilst Yakult blends Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium breve in its product range that have all been shown to reduce the incidence or prevention of NEC.
“Our purpose is strong, and we are truly excited to make a difference for this vulnerable group – preterm infants,” says Andrew Scorey, senior vice president for Human Health at Chr. Hansen.
“The multi-strain probiotic has been tested in two high quality clinical trials for its efficacy and safety.
“Using our science and technology to make a positive difference in the world is what we are in business for, which is why we are so happy to bring this first-of-its-kind solution to preterm babies.”
Scorey adds that the high vulnerability of preterm infants to infections caused Chr. Hansen to implement strict production processes for its probiotic blend
“We always comply with the relevant production and quality standards for the production of all our products.
“In this case, we have added many more requirements on top of what is stipulated as standard to go the extra mile to ensure the highest quality, safe product for this vulnerable population.”
The firm extended contaminant testing and stricter requirements for both environmental monitoring and cleaning before production to eliminate the risk of contamination.
In addition, the product is packed in single use, sealed packages to help reduce the risk of contamination compared to multi-use containers.
The rapidly evolving universe of probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming Probiota 2020 in Dublin on February 10-12.
From microbiome advances, to start-up game changers, market stats, crucial clinical science and regulatory knowledge, this is a congressional must-have.