Europe at the Heart of Probiotics Innovation

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Three probiotics deals have been signed in the past week, all involving European companies, which remain at the heart of driving innovation in this fast-growing consumer health sector. AxisBiotix, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK life sciences company SkinBioTherapeutics, has signed an agreement with Dutch-based probiotics specialist Winclove to design a probiotic blend based on the modifying properties of specific bacterial species on psoriasis disease pathways. This will be developed into a probiotic food supplement called AxisBiotix.

SkinBioTherapeutics is responsible for the identification and selection of the bacterial strains and patient testing; Winclove is responsible for the formulation and manufacturing. “There is strong scientific evidence pointing to a link between gut dysfunction, stress-induced alterations to the gut microbiome and skin inflammation,” said SkinBioTherapeutics CEO, Stuart Ashman. “We believe that in this partnership … we can create a specific probiotic food supplement that has the potential to help manage the hard-to-treat symptoms of psoriasis.”

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Meanwhile, Danish probiotics specialist Chr Hansen has signed a contract with Teijin to sell ingredients for health food and infant formulas in Japan. Under the agreement, Teijin will market six probiotic products, including BB-12 (Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. Lactis) for gastrointestinal balance and immune support, and Urex (Lactobacillus reuteri [RC-14] + Lactobacillus rhamnosus [GR-1]), which increases lactic acid bacteria for vaginal health. Teijin will leverage know-how and technical support from Chr Hansen and both will jointly develop marketing initiatives. While this marks Teijin’s entry into the field of probiotic ingredients, the company already markets prebiotics. Seeing functional foods as a core part of its healthcare strategy moving forwards, Teijin plans to develop more prebiotic and probiotic ingredients and expand its product line-up.

Finally, Serbian-based Beopanax has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Taiwan’s Bened Biomedical to bring its flagship psychobiotic probiotic strain to new territories, including Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Albania. The launch of Second Brain, a sachet containing 30bn CFU of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 to help improve mental and emotional health, is slated for Q1 2020. Bened is also targeting expansion in CIS countries.

Probiotics & prebiotics is highlighted as one of 8 sectors driving consumer healthcare innovation in our upcoming report, Innovation in CHC: NPD & Innovation in CHC under the Spotlight. Drawing on Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker, this all-new title from Nicholas Hall’s Reports takes an in-depth look at 100 key CHC innovations in 2019, and picks out some of the most prominent delivery format and ingredient trends in the consumer healthcare industry. Please contact Melissa.Lee@NicholasHall.com to find out more, or to purchase your copy and save with the early-bird discount!

Tracker hits 20,000 innovations

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Our sister product OTC New Products Tracker has hit a significant milestone – 20,000 innovations added to a database that tracks consumer healthcare launch activity all the way back to the start of 2013, across 20 key markets. In this week’s blog, we look back at some of the highest-ranked innovations added to the archive over the past year.

A recent 4-star innovation is medical device Flow from Flow Neuroscience, a first of its kind home treatment on the European market. Positioned as a non-medicated alternative treatment for depression, the medical device comprises a brain stimulation headset and a therapy app. While stimulation is in use, the app acts as a virtual therapist that the user can interact with. Available in the UK since summer 2019, Flow retails for £399.

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Adjacent OTC categories have been fuelling the fire of consumer healthcare innovation in recent years, with medical cannabis / CBD and probiotics two of the most active categories in terms of launch activity. US marketer CBDfx is arguably the most pioneering innovator among the new wave of medical cannabis companies, launching several new delivery formats over the past two years, including vaping pens (January 2018), “chill shot” drinks for anxiety (March 2019), sublingual hemp strips (April 2019) and acne face masks (June 2019).

Like CBD, probiotics have also enjoyed high levels of innovation in terms of delivery formats and positioning. Two examples of probiotics targeting a new consumer healthcare niche include Elebiotic, a recent Recordati launch in Spain positioned to manage recurrent acute otitis media in infants, and Khan’s Morning, a probiotic launched in South Korea in early 2019 that is claimed to help break down the alcohol and acetaldehyde that causes hangovers.

Review 20,000+ launches and innovations with OTC New Products Tracker, the ultimate competitive intelligence tool! Products are graded with a star rating, from 1* (essentially “me too” and generics) up to 4* (1st Rx-to-OTC switches in a category, creation of a new OTC class or other major leaps in innovation). With a recently-released major update including eye-catching new graphics and powerful search filters that help you visualise and explore the vast archive according to your exact specifications, now is the perfect time to set up your free trial. For a demo or more information, please contact waisan.lee-gabell@NicholasHall.com.

Probiotics the main CHC growth driver in Europe

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As part of our series of blogs on the 10 Infinity Zones for future CHC growth outlined by Nicholas Hall, this week we take a closer look at the fast-growing probiotics category. As Nicholas mentioned in his keynote speech at this year’s Vienna conference, probiotics is a category that has moved from adjacency to mainstream, producing more value growth in Europe in the past 5 years (additional US$364mn in sales) than any other OTC category.

In 2018, global sales of probiotics totalled US$4.2bn, representing 10.8% growth. This was a slightly better performance than the previous year (sales of probiotics were up 10.4% in 2017) but still marks a deceleration compared to the recent peak in 2016 of 13.6% growth. Looking at global product innovation trends, thanks to our OTC New Products Tracker tool covering 20 key markets, there are also indications that probiotics expansion may have hit a temporary plateau, with roughly the same number of innovations in this category in 2017 (277) and 2018 (270).

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However, the appearance of new probiotics niches looks set to energise further growth and innovation going forward. As highlighted in our recently published Lower GIs report, the development of probiotics with novel positioning (IBS, hangover, etc) and for specific life stages (infancy, pregnancy, etc) are expanding the category’s appeal even further. Recent examples of new probiotics for kids include Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Daily Probiotic Drops (J&J) and Biocodex’s launch of Florastor Baby.

Personalisation will also be an important future growth driver for probiotics. Despite the increasing number of proprietary bacterial strains, the probiotics category is still largely characterised by a one-size-fits-all approach. As scientific understanding of the microbiome advances, however, we may soon reach a stage where tailored probiotic strains are recommended for people with specific host microbiomes or diets. This sort of precision therapy could also eventually see a growing number of probiotics regulated as medicines rather than dietary supplements.

How is regulation of consumer healthcare products set to evolve in future? Find out in the chapter dedicated to regulation in Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon, written by Nicholas himself. Other chapters will look at issues surrounding the CHC market including digital engagement, M&A, healthcare trends and much more! You also have the option to upgrade your purchase to include a customised in-house presentation or webinar with Nicholas for an additional GB£10,000. To find out more or to place your order, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

10 Infinity Zones for future CHC growth

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Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC report, due to be published later this year, outlines 10 Infinity Zones for future consumer healthcare growth, which were shared as an exclusive preview with delegates at our recent Vienna conference. Below we outline these Infinity Zones to OTC DASHBOARD subscribers, with a short description of each.

1. Prevention: A long-term theme in the CHC industry which is now taking root. Nicholas Hall presented a slide of the fastest-growing OTC subcategories by CAGR (2014-18), comparing those focused on prevention with those centred around treatment, and this showed that seven of the Top 10 most dynamic subcategories had a preventative focus.

2. Probiotics: One of these Top 10 fastest-growing subcategories was probiotics, an area of the global consumer healthcare market that has moved from adjacency into the mainstream. In the 2014-18 period, probiotics delivered more value growth (in €mn terms) than established subcategories like systemic analgesics and sore throat remedies.

3. Food Intolerance: Changing diets across the globe are causing a huge increase in food intolerance issues. Nicholas Hall is planning to provide an estimate of the size of this emerging category in his New Paradigms report, but for now he emphasised to delegates the opportunities that OTC marketers have here, notably in terms of cross-branding.

4. Natural & Organic: Like prevention, this is not a new trend in consumer healthcare, but instead one that is increasingly on the radar of major multinationals. A recent example here is J&J’s acquisition of the Zarbee’s Naturals line of OTC products.

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5. Cannabis: Nicholas Hall outlined the huge investment already being seen in this fast-growing market, especially in key countries like Australia, and outlined how the future CBD market could be split into five categories, including Rx, OTC medical cannabis via Rx-to-OTC switch, VMS & topicals, beauty & food and lifestyle marijuana.

6. Sexual Health: Nicholas Hall said that, while Bayer has made it clear that erectile dysfunction treatment Levitra will not switch, we’ve already seen the Rx-to-OTC reclassification of Viagra Connect in the UK market and it’s possible that Sanofi’s Cialis could soon follow once the company has navigated the necessary regulatory hurdles.

7. E-commerce: This year DB6 has introduced an “all channels” version of the dataset, showing that total OTC sales through all channels were worth US$174bn in 2018, of which store-based sales account for 78%, with direct sales (MLM) generating 14%. Internet & mail order currently accounts for 9% of the “all channel” universe, with sales dominated heavily by VMS supplements in China and USA. However, this channel has seen a CAGR of 20% since 2014 and will continue to increase dramatically in importance.

8. Pharmacy: Nicholas Hall also emphasised the continuing importance of bricks & mortar retailers to consumer healthcare, with Pharmacy Point-of-Care still the driving force behind recommendations and purchases of key OTC brands.

9. Big Data: The Big 5 tech companies are now dominating healthcare information, and while there are concerns about privacy, Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that his company’s “greatest contribution to mankind” will be within the sphere of healthcare.

10. Emerging Markets: Nicholas Hall said that Emerging Markets now account for a 55% share of global OTC sales (in the retail channel). Recent figures from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook forecast that developing economies will continue to outpace advanced economies.

Take a look at what the future holds for the CHC industry in our upcoming Signature report, Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon, written by Nicholas himself. The report will take a look at major issues including innovation, future competition, emerging categories and markets and M&A. You also have the option to upgrade your purchase to include a customised in-house presentation or webinar with Nicholas. To find out more or to place your order, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

MAT Q1 2018: 5 key trends & developments

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Our latest Q1 2018 trend reports on the OTC market at global, regional and Top 20 level are now available on the OTC DASHBOARD website. Here we highlight some of the key trends & developments that have emerged in the latest data.

  1. Growth draining out of allergy remedies: In the MAT Q1 2018 period, global growth of OTC allergy remedies slowed to just +0.2%. Compare this with a rate of +3.7% in the year-ago MAT Q1 2017 period, and +10.3% in the MAT Q1 2016 period. This gradual slowdown, caused primarily by a drop-off in Rx-to-OTC switch activity, has been one of several key factors in the continued low growth of the global OTC market (+4.1%) in Q1.
  2. J&J edges ahead of Sanofi: The latest MAT Q1 2018 data indicates that J&J is now the No.3 OTC marketer globally, marginally ahead of Sanofi and just behind Bayer. Every one of the Top 5 OTC marketers grew at a rate below that of the global OTC market in the MAT Q1 2018 period, indicating the difficulty in finding new growth opportunities and the continued emphasis on M&A.
  3. Has probiotics growth peaked? Though it remains high at +9.2% in the year to end-March 2018, the global growth of the probiotics category has slowed over the past year, when compared with a rate of +14.0% in the year-ago MAT Q1 2017 period, and +10.8% in the MAT Q1 2016 period. Innovation and expansion of the category into new countries and niches, such as diabetes, have fuelled its growth thus far, but we’ll be keeping a close eye over coming quarters to see if this trend is a temporary blip or the start of a long-term slowdown.
  4. Where’s the growth potential? 1. Adjacencies: OTC marketers are increasingly looking to build new consumer healthcare adjacencies, either via switch – in the case of erectile dysfunction and Pfizer’s Viagra Connect – or new product innovation, in the case of medical cannabis. Though we don’t yet include sales of medical cannabis products in OTC DASHBOARD, we do track developments in this category closely in both our innovation database, OTC New Products Tracker, and regulatory newsletter, OTC.NewDirections.
  5. Where’s the growth potential? 2. New territories: Coverage of the OTC market in the Middle East & Africa is one of the main benefits of being an OTC DASHBOARD subscriber, and looking at the latest Q1 data highlights the importance of this region to the relative success of GSK and RB. GSK performed better than the rest of the Top 5, with its CCA brand Otrivin moving up the Middle East & Africa rankings to the No.3 spot in Q1 after double-digit growth, while global No.6 RB (+4.4%) outperformed the global OTC rate thanks in part to the high MEA growth of Gaviscon and Strepsils.

Explore how we can innovate (and manage the impact of regulatory challenges) at our 1st OTC.NewDirections Executive Conference in London on 12th September 2018Where Innovation meets Regulation. Nicholas Hall and Nina Stimson will be joined by speakers from Medical Brands, Angelini and Arqus Advisory among others to review, discuss and debate major issues impacting the competitive landscape in an industry in which the regulatory goalposts are continually moving. Sessions span New Product Opportunities, Regulatory Affairs (including the potential impact of Brexit across the EU), Medical Devices, Switch, Digital Marketing, New Distribution and e-Commerce. Don’t hesitate — book before 31 July to save with our early-bird discount! For more information on this pivotal meeting, please contact Lianne.Hill@nicholashall.com

OTCs in Action Episode 29: Probiotic powers

OTCinActionheaderProbiotics are in action this week, effectively tackling the common cold, allergy and triglycerides, according to a recent edition of OTC.Newsflash, published by Nicholas Hall & Company:

Allergy attacked!  A Vanderbilt University (US) review of 23 studies found that probiotics were linked to improvement in at least one facet of a patient’s health – either rhinitis-specific quality of life or symptoms — in 17 of the studies. (International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, April 20,2015).

Triglycerides tackled! Researchers at The Yonsei University (South Korea) found that dual probiotic strains Lactobacillus curvatus HY7601 + Lactobacillus plantarum KY1032 demonstrated triglyceride-lowering effects vs placebo in a 12-week study of 92 participants with hypertriglyceridaemia but without diabetes. (Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, May 13, 2015)

Sick days shortened! The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that in cases of influenza-like illness, the number of sick days was reduced to five for a group that consumed a daily beverage with 1bn live bacteria (Chr Hansen’s L.casei 431 probiotic strain) vs eight days in a placebo group. The proportion of subjects who required healthcare system support during the follow-up period fell from 28% to 22% with probiotic consumption. 

Global sales of probiotic dietary supplements have increased by $1bn to $2.7bn in the past five years, according to Nicholas Hall & Company’s global OTC sales database, DB6.

OTCs in Action Episode 16: Probiotics vs Peanut Allergies

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Decades from now, could the peanut-free table in school lunch rooms be a social relic of the early 2000s?

Today, peanuts are the most common cause of fatality owing to food-induced anaphylaxis. However, there is very exciting news that OTC probiotics may play a role in eliminating the allergy for many children. Researchers at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Parkville, Australia, have announced the successful trial of a treatment for peanut allergies. In the study, researchers gave more than 60 peanut allergic children either a placebo or a dose of a probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus), together with peanut protein in increasing amounts over an 18-month period. The result: More than 80% of children who received the oral immunotherapy treatment were able to tolerate peanuts at the end of the trial, compared to less than 4% of the placebo group. This is 20 times higher than the natural rate of resolution for peanut allergy. According to the announcement, “23 of 28 (82.1%) probiotic treated children and one of 28 (3.6%) placebo-treated children were able to include peanut in their diet at the end of the trial.”

Lead researcher, Professor Mimi Tang, said the study results are extremely exciting as they could potentially provide an effective treatment for food allergy: “In the study the combined delivery of probiotic and oral immunotherapy was a safe and effective treatment for peanut allergy; however, it is important to point out that this treatment must only be given under close medical supervision as we are giving peanut to children who are allergic to peanut and children did have allergic reactions. Nevertheless, the likelihood of success was high – if nine children were given probiotic and peanut therapy, seven would benefit.”

For more information, visit:

http://www.mcri.edu.au/news/2015/january/peanut-allergy/

OTCs in Action thanks the weekly newsletter, OTC.NewDirections, published by Nicholas Hall & Co, for tracking scientific advancements in healthcare as they are announced.