Europe at the Heart of Probiotics Innovation


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.”


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 to find out more, or to purchase your copy and save with the early-bird discount!

OTCs in Action Episode 50: The future of pain relief


This week, OTCs are in Action in the UK, where the Nicholas Hall reports team has just unveiled its latest Global OTC Analgesics compendium, filled with a vast amount of analysis on pain care trends around the world.

Muscle pain, dental pain, period pain, etc are experienced by all consumers, whether they buy OTCs in Walmart in the US, “farmacias” in Mexico, or family-owned warungs in Indonesia. New product launches, A+P campaigns and expanded retail availability has shifted share among marketers – while rarely offering people more efficacious and safer OTC pain products.

So a few studies discussed at the end of Global OTC Analgesics jumped out – especially given their “natural” heritage:

    • Melatonin acts on the brain by activating two receptors – MT1 and MT2 – that are responsible for regulating several functions including sleep, depression and circadian rhythms. A research team demonstrated that UCM924, an MT2 receptor drug, relieves chronic pain in rats; UCM924 is able to switch off the neurons that trigger pain and switch on the ones that turn off pain
    • A multi-institutional research team identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body’s primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective analgesics

A final study seems to have validated common knowledge – males and females may process pain differently. When researchers looked at the longstanding theory that pain is transmitted from the site of injury or inflammation through the nervous system using microglia – an immune system cell – they found this is only true in male mice.

What an opportunity for gender-specific OTCs in the future!

Click here to learn more about the Global OTC Analgesics Report