Editor's Spotlight

Brand New: Probiotics expansion, programmes for pharmacists, powder formula approval and more

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Brand New: Probiotics expansion, programmes for pharmacists, powder formula approval and more

Related tags Probiotics Weight management Infant formula Sports nutrition

Get the latest on what Blackmores is doing for pharmacists in APAC, OptiBiotix's Thai expansion, HealthKart's latest round of funding, ESI Nutrition's infant formula approval in China, and Evolve BioSystems' launch in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Thai triple: OptiBiotix continuing APAC expansion with exclusive Thai distribution agreement

UK firm OptiBiotix is continuing its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region​ with the latest deal for its weight management product, SlimBiome — an exclusive three-year agreement with Thai national distributor Primo.

Under the agreement, Primo will distribute and commercialise OptiBiotix's microbiome weight management product SlimBiome in Thailand, where the former distributes specialised food ingredients to manufacturers in the nutraceutical, supplement and pharmaceutical sectors.

The company has committed to purchasing a minimum of 500kg of SlimBiome within the first year of the agreement; this figure will increase tenfold to 5,000kg in the third year.

Offline optimisation: Indian e-commerce outfit HealthKart to up retail presence and in-house product range

HealthKart — India's largest omni-channel nutrition platform — is planning further offline expansion and a more extensive in-house range of supplements, supported by a fresh round of financing​ to the tune of US$25m.

Raised by parent company Bright Lifecare from Belgian investment firm Sofina, the funds will be used to widen HealthKart's offline store network, establish more direct-to-consumer nutrition brands, and enhance its vertical integration.

Currently, the platform comprises an online portal and over 110 brick-and-mortar stores in 40 Indian cities. With increasing consumer interest in fitness and preventive care in India, it sees significant opportunity for sales growth and improved education in these categories.

China formula approval opening new doors for French dairy firm ESI Nutrition

ESI Nutrition, a division of French dairy cooperative Laïta, is banking on both its powder and liquid milk formula capabilities to expand in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region​.

The company recently received approval from the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACG) to produce powdered infant formula at its new manufacturing plant in Brittany, France, for the Chinese market.

This adds to its existing liquid formula approval for China, which ESI received about two years prior.

Bill Gates-backed probiotic firm Evolve BioSystems makes APAC debut with Singapore, Hong Kong launch

US-based microbiome firm Evolve BioSystems have entered the APAC market​ with its flagship consumer probiotic for newborns, Evivo, which has launched in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The product is available in the Evivo web store, and is shipped directly from the US to either Singapore or Hong Kong within three to four days of the order being placed.

This launch is the result of the US$40m Series C funding the company received in June 2018, which was co-led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Horizons Ventures, the investment division of the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Complementing pharmacists' supplements knowledge: Blackmores Institute rolling out more training programmes across APAC

Blackmores institute is expanding its supplements and complementary medicines training and educational programmes for pharmacists​, with the launch of a more advanced course in Malaysia, and new developments in Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.

The Institute, the research arm of Australian supplements giant Blackmores, recently debuted its CMEd Silver programme in Malaysia, after 600 pharmacists in the country achieved its bronze accreditation.

"The bronze qualification was an entry-level programme and focused very much on ingredients," ​Blackmores Institute executive director Dr Lesley Braun told us.

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