Slowing down ageing? Chinese firm to embark on NMN human clinical trial

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplier EffePharm's trademark product Uthever. ©EffePharm
Chinese nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplier EffePharm's trademark product Uthever. ©EffePharm

Related tags: China, anti-ageing, NMN, India

China’s nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplier EffePharm is embarking on its first human clinical trial as it seeks to validate the anti-ageing effects and safety of its ingredient “Uthever”.

NMN is an intermediate compound of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). A low NAD+ level is linked to the onset of age-related diseases, including the Alzheimer’s disease.

The trial will take place in different parts of the world and will measure two specific outcomes, namely 1) whether NMN intake increases the NAD+ level in blood serum and 2) its impact on body stamina through a walking endurance test.

“Besides measuring the NAD+ index from blood serum, we have added exercise performance as another outcome measure. The purpose is to see whether the body stamina will be improved,” ​scientific affairs director, Hank Hwang told NutraIngredients-Asia.

“Exercise performance is an index which we can observed from the outside and is complementary to the blood serum measurement,”​ he added.

According to the information that the company has registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, the trial will recruit 66 healthy adults, who will then be randomised into the placebo or the NMN treatment group and take either NMN or placebo twice per day.

The company has been selling NMN since 2016 and it currently has two R&D labs in Shanghai and Jiangsu, and two production sites in Shandong. Hwang added that the company has conducted studies on the safety and health benefits of NMN from pre-clinical trials. 

Following the completion of this particular trial, there are plans further down the road to explore the other possible benefits of NMN, including effects on heart and bone health, Hwang said.

Meanwhile in Japan, a human study on the effects of oral administration of NMN in healthy men was recently concluded by Irie et al ​that it is a safe and effectively metabolised supplement.

Popular in Western markets

At present, EffePharm is producing two tonnes of NMN per month, with major business in the US, which is responsible for about 70% of the business, while the EU follows next, making up 20% of the business. The remaining is made up of Japan and ANZ markets. 

As such, Hwang said there were plans to conduct consumer trials in the US and Europe in the future.

He said that the NMN market had been expanding rapidly and thus, the company had aimed for a monthly production of five tonnes.

The demand is largely driven by a growth of the upper middle class who have a greater demand for health foods and an ageing population.

He pointed out that the populations in China, Japan, South Korea, and Europe have been ageing rapidly.

He added that the ingredient could be incorporated into dosage formats such as gel capsules, tablets, and sublingual lozenges.

NMN and NR

The importance of NAD+ in human health has been gaining prominence in recent years, with companies developing supplements which are said to increase the levels of NAD+ in the body. These supplements mainly come in two forms, either NMN or nicotinamide riboside (NR).

One of the most well-known companies is Chromadex with its flagship NR  supplement Tru Niagen​. The product, being available in both Western and Asian markets, is said to be the only commercially available form of NR.

Japanese pharma firm Teijin, on the other hand, launched its NMN supplement NOMON​ last year, aimed at the elderly market.

Hong Kong firm Vitacell International also has its own NMN product sold under the brand S-CELL.

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