Nestle and Valbiotis in prediabetes partnership

CHCINACTION

Last week, French-based R&D company Valbiotis signed a global long-term strategic partnership with Nestle Health Science for the development and commercialisation of Totum-63, a patented combination of five plant extracts specifically designed to reduce the risk of developing T2 diabetes in prediabetics. According to reports, Nestle Health Science will pay CHF5mn (US$5.1mn) upfront, development & sales milestone payments up to CHF66mn (US$68mn) and tiered royalties on net sales. The partnership will support Valbiotis’ work in a number of ways, including funding the latest clinical development phase until health claims are obtained in USA and Europe. 

Back in September 2019, Valbiotis released positive results from the Phase IIa study of Totum-63, revealing that it met its primary endpoint of reducing fasting blood glucose levels among 51 participants who received 5g / day or placebo for six months. The full results show that Totum-63 also met secondary endpoints, significantly reducing blood triglyceride levels by 32.2%, fatty liver index by 18.7%, arterial hypertension in hypertensive people and blood LDL cholesterol levels by 11.7% vs placebo. A preclinical study (in mice) also found that Totum-63 corrected blood levels of insulin, glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1, hormones central to the regulation of blood glucose. At the time, Valbiotis CEO Sebastien Peltier said these results pave the way for new opportunities in “promising markets”, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver or arterial hypertension.

valbiotis-logo.jpg

Diabesity was one of the chapters in our recent signature New Paradigms report, with one section looking at the huge potential of supplements for diabetes management. However, many of these are local brands that have only managed to carve out a small niche in their respective markets. The potential for a CHC brand for prediabetes / diabetes with a truly global scale is vast. According to Valbiotis, there are an estimated 900mn people worldwide that are prediabetic, and around 700mn people globally are forecast to contract T2 diabetes by 2045.

Nicholas Hall Writes: When Nestle walked away from the Merck Consumer Health bidding in February 2018, citing high price expectations, I wondered what that meant for the Health Science strategy. To judge by Valbiotis and other recent deals, Nestle seems more interested in buying new technologies than brands. Work we’ve done recently in this category has shown that there is a large population at risk of contracting diabetes, particularly in the Emerging Markets; but this prediabetes initiative will require vast amounts of consumer and HCP education. The question is whether the Valbiotis product, in the safe commercial hands of Nestle Health Science, can persuade consumers to take a pill for a condition they don’t yet have. But it’s worth the effort and could be a significant opportunity for both parties.

Join Nicholas Hall and Everything Health in New Jersey on 8 October 2020 to explore The Future is Now! Consumer Healthcare Reimagined with an optional workshop on 9 October hosted by The CHC Training Institute. To book your place and save with the early-bird booking discount, or to find out about sponsorship opportunities, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Does CBG offer hope against antimicrobial resistance?

CHCINACTION

According to a recent WHO press release, a lack of innovation in the development of new antibiotics, allied with declining private investment, is undermining efforts to combat drug-resistant infections. The breaking news from China of a sharp rise in diagnoses of an emergent strain of coronavirus, and new reported cases in Japan and Thailand, has raised fears of another outbreak similar to SARS in 2003, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed more than 700.

WHO has raised concerns about a weak pipeline for antibiotic agents, with 60 products in development (50 antibiotics and 10 biologics) that it deems bring little benefit over existing treatments and very few that target the most critical resistant bacteria (Gram-negative bacteria). However, some positive news came from an unlikely quarter over the weekend – an as yet unpublished study that found that CBG (cannabigerol) cured mice of MRSA infections as effectively as vancomycin, a drug widely considered to be the last line of defence against drug-resistant microbes.

MRSA.jpg

One of our recent blogs looked at the potential of a new emerging class of cannabinoids beyond CBD – including CBG, CBN (cannabinol) and CBC (cannabichromene) – and this new study boosts the attractiveness of the cannabinoid industry even further. Eric Brown, the microbiologist who led the research at McMaster University said cannabinoids were “clearly great drug-like compounds”, but noted it was early days in assessing the compounds for use in the clinic.

Brown found that CBG and other cannabinoids did not work well against gram negative multi-drug resistant bugs. However, the study shows that when CBG is used along with small quantities of polymyxin B, an existing antibiotic that targets “the cytoplasmic membrane of Gram-positive bacteria”, the cannabis compound wiped out the drug-resistant pathogens. “We are now pursuing the required paperwork to work with a wide variety of cannabinoids,” Brown said.

What is the current regulatory status of CBD in global markets? Find out in Nicholas Hall’s upcoming report, CBD 2020: The 20 Most Important Questions about CBD in the Future of CHC! You can also read about the main challenges faced by CBD players, the current and forecast size of the market, and much more! Pre-order your copy before 30 January to save with the pre-publication discounted rate! To find out more, or purchase your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Ice Bucket Challenge Creates Medical Breakthrough

Holly Parmenter, Digital Projects Executive: Back in 2014, the charitable craze of dosing one another in ice-cold water (better known as The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge) went viral. This was all in aid of raising awareness and research funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The incurable progressive neurodegenerative disease predominantly affects the brain and spinal cord, resulting in entire paralysis. Physicist Stephen Hawkins is a well-known sufferer and helped raise awareness during the ALS Challenge as his children gallantly participated on his behalf.

Though seemingly buried deep within the vast world of social media, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has resurfaced; not with ice but with results. The Ice Bucket Challenge raised $115m (£87.7m), which funded six research projects.

IB DB

One of these was Project MinE, an extensive study involving more than 80 researchers in 11 different countries. This study examined ALS risk genes in families affected by the disease and, thanks to the funding for research raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge, an important scientific discovery was made – the identification a new gene that contributes to the disease, NEK1.

The identification of gene NEK1 means scientists can now develop a gene therapy to treat it. Although only 10% of ALS patients have the inherited form, researchers believe that genetics contribute to a much larger percentage of cases.