Innovating with ivy: Aussie firm diversifying delivery formats for cough medicine

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

The key ingredient in the Prospan range is EA 575, a patented ivy leaf extract used exclusively in Prospan.
The key ingredient in the Prospan range is EA 575, a patented ivy leaf extract used exclusively in Prospan.
An Australian natural medicine firm is offering its patented ivy leaf formulation in a new format to help treat coughs in both adults and children.

Flordis is the maker of Prospan, a cough syrup for children above the age of six, and adults, which the company claims is the world's top-selling natural chesty cough medicine.

It recently announced the launch of Prospan in lozenge form to provide a convenient alternative to its cough syrup.

This adds to the Prospan range, which includes drops (for those above 12 years old), Prospan Children (for children aged two and above), and Prospan Menthol, a liquid medicine (for adults, and children aged six and older. All the products are non-drowsy and sugar-free.

Exclusive formulation

The key ingredient in the Prospan range is EA 575, a patented ivy leaf extract used exclusively in Prospan, which Flordis says is the leading clinically proven ivy leaf formulation for relief from chesty coughs and bronchial congestion in both adults and children.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, Professor Marc Cohen from RMIT University's School of Health and Biomedical Sciences said EA 575 uses 'multi-modal action' to relieve chesty coughs.

Firstly, it acts as a mucolytic, thinning and breaking down mucus in the respiratory airways. Secondly, it acts as an expectorant, clearing mucus from the airways to ease chest congestion. Lastly, it acts as a bronchodilator, opening the airways and easing cough-related breathing symptoms.

One of the active ingredients in ivy, saponins, have been found in previous studies to have dose-dependent beneficial effects on the bronchi.

Flordis keeps the manufacturing process behind EA 575 confidential, but likens its individual characteristics to a fingerprint, unique to each person who consumes it.

Cohen explained: "Natural medicines can vary considerably due to the plant species chosen, the way the plant is cultivated and harvested, and the extraction and production processes.

"This entire 'source to patient' process results in EA 575 having an individual phytochemical profile or fingerprint.  For this reason, it is essential to ensure the natural medicine you buy is the same extract used in the clinical trials."

Trials on treatment

Indeed, Flordis has said that Prospan's EA 575 has undergone 11 clinical trials and been featured in eight scientific studies on more than 65,000 children and adults.

Additionally, the product's efficacy and tolerability has been tested in a large study of over 9,000 people, of which 93% experienced alleviation of their cough and expectoration symptoms, and 91% saw improved ease of breathing after taking Prospan for one week; 96% reported 'good or very good tolerability' of the medicine.

With regards to the other trials, Cohen said, "A recent double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted in adults with chesty cough showed significant relief after just 48 hours when taking Prospan Menthol, compared to placebo or no treatment.

"The trial also showed continued symptom improvements over the seven-day treatment period."

While he declined to go into detail about potential new products in the Prospan range, he said, "There will surely be new innovations coming in the future, as we continue to invest in continued research and innovation."

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