NZMP partners with Sun Genomics on personalized probiotics

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Getty Images/Bet_Noire
Pic: Getty Images/Bet_Noire

Related tags: Fonterra, Probiotics, NZMP, personalized health

NZMP, the ingredient-solutions brand of global dairy company Fonterra, and Sun Genomics, one of the world’s first, made-to-order probiotic companies, have established a partnership to undertake consumer studies to better understand the various health benefits of probiotics.

Sun Genomics makes precision probiotics branded Floré. By having individuals test their gut microflora, Floré can customize a ‘precision probiotic’ supplement, formulated to address individual needs. Studies show 90% of the body’s gut microbiome is unique, indicating the need for personalization to result in effective changes.

NZMP will supply Sun Genomics with both of its clinically proven HN001 and HN019 strains to create the personalized probiotic for consumers. Fonterra discovered and commercialized these strains more than 20 years ago, and Sun Genomics has been using both HN001 and HN019 strains for several years. After assessing market opportunities, both parties recently recognized the benefit of working together to better understand how these super strains could target specific consumer health issues, especially with the increased concerns around immunity due to Covid-19.

The relationship began in 2018 while NZMP was at Indie Bio, one of the world’s largest biotech accelerators in San Francisco, recognizing Sun Genomics as a high potential start-up player in the health & wellness space. NZMP said it was impressed by the company’s unique and customizable approach to consumers’ health via a personalized supplement. The customized product allows Sun Genomics to deliver a supplementation program and maximize the delivery of health benefits. Additionally, the two companies found Sun Genomics’ work to validate its products through consumer lifestyle studies and NZMP’s approach to ingredient testing through human clinical studies to be complementary.

The relationship between the two companies has led to more in-depth consumer research to make each company’s products more valuable to business customers and end consumers.

“Sun Genomics is both a customer and business partner. We chose Sun Genomics because we were impressed by their consumer-centric approach, which closely aligns with our desire to intimately understand the consumer,”​ said Chris Ireland, US Probiotics business manager, active lifestyle, NZMP.

“Working with Sun Genomics to tap into their consumer base is an innovative way to directly validate our probiotics effectiveness, and build a deeper understanding of what consumers truly need. This novel approach to substantiating our strains is the perfect complement to our clinical research. These consumer studies will bridge the gap between meticulously designed scientific studies and the day-to-day realities of consumer life, allowing us to marry the strengths of consumer and clinical research when positioning our probiotics in the market.

“This work also opens up opportunities to explore potential new formulations together, which reflects our broader efforts in addressing health benefits across physical, mental and inside-out wellness. Our focus on probiotics reflects the expansion of our classic health & wellness portfolio through our specialty ingredients.”

The consumer studies include testing HN001/HN019 strains with Floré customers through a Fonterra-sponsored consumer project to determine if there are any significant improvements in health and mental wellness. The results gathered in this consumer testing will provide complementary evidence to existing clinical trials on HN001 and HN019, by providing evidence that NZMP probiotics’ benefits can also be seen outside of clinical settings and can withstand being subjected to the rigors of normal consumer lifestyles.

“We chose to work with NZMP not only because of the quality of their probiotic strains, but also because of their ability to provide clinical data and their excitement to partner and explore new spaces with us,”​ said Neal Gidvani, COO of Sun Genomics.

“We are expecting results from some of our initial studies later this year and look forward to sharing the results with the NZMP team.”

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