Yam for maam: Aptorum Group to launch women’s bone health supplement made from Chinese yam

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

The NLS-2 supplement will be launched under the Nativus Life Sciences Limited brand in Q1 2020. ©Aptorum
The NLS-2 supplement will be launched under the Nativus Life Sciences Limited brand in Q1 2020. ©Aptorum

Related tags Healthy ageing Women Bone health Hong kong Dietary supplement Osteoporosis

Hong Kong’s Aptorum Group is launching a dietary supplement (NLS-2 dioscorea opposita bioactive nutraceutical tablets) to improve symptoms related to menopausal transitions, such as osteoporosis.

The bioactive component of NLS-2 is DOI, a novel non-hormonal compound extracted from Chinese yam.

According to Ian Huen, founder and chief executive officer of Aptorum Group: “Third-party scientific studies indicate that DOI appears to stimulate estradiol biosynthesis, induce estradiol and progesterone secretion and increase bone density, thereby potentially counteracting the progression of osteoporosis, one of the common symptoms associated with menopause​.”

The NLS-2 supplement will be launched under the Nativus Life Sciences Limited brand in Q1 2020, and distributed by Hong Kong based-Multipak Limited.

The supplement tablets are produced in Canada and will be marketed under the brand name NativusWell dietary supplement.

Bioactive protein

Chinese yam, the tuber of dioscorea opposita ​Thunb., is an edible and medicinal herb that is commonly used in Chinese medicine for improving the status of sex hormones, lipids, and antioxidants in menopausal women.

DOI was first isolated by a research team at the School of Chinese Medicine​ of The University of Hong Kong.

The bioactive protein was shown to increase estrogen and progesterone biosynthesis and found to be effective in alleviating conditions resulting from low serum estrogen and progesterone levels including osteoporosis.

Huen told us animal studies​ have been conducted which showed the positive and efficacious results, but it has not been put through human clinical trials. “As DOI is not sold as a drug but is only a dietary supplement sold without medical prescription, it is exempted from clinical trials​.”

Nativus Life Sciences Limited currently owns the global rights to exclusively commercialise the technology as patented by the University of Hong Kong.

Sales plans

Huen said the supplement will be first sold in Hong Kong, while “the company is making progress in meeting the compliance requirements to introduce the product in other jurisdictions globally including the European Union, United Kingdom, China and the United States​.”

These countries were selected for their significant population and demand, he said.

We also plan to distribute the product via global online platforms to better suit consumer trends and lifestyle needs​,” he added.

The supplements are available in healthcare stores, online retailers, promotional booths, and pharmacies.

Huen told us Aptorum Group will roll out other supplement products for other symptoms in the future.

Women’s health market

According to the World Health Technical Report Series, there will be a projected 1.2 billion postmenopausal women by 2030, and 85% of these women will experience menopause-related symptoms in their lifetime.

The value of the global menopause treatment market in 2019 is estimated at USD2.5 billion. This market is projected to grow 4.2% from 2017 to 2023.

The most common treatment for menopausal symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) however they have been associated to higher risks of breast cancer.

Huen said DOI being a non-hormonal approach has several benefits, “This is a more natural approach and very different from some of the other treatments out there including hormonal treatment which has many undesirable side effects for women.​”

The supplement is targeted for women above 40 years, especially those experiencing menopausal transitions and related symptoms.

NLS-2 supplement is a tablet to be ingested orally (2-4 tablets per day).

We will be shining the spotlight on the extensive food, nutrition and beverage opportunities that are being created by the region’s rapidly ageing population, and a growing interest in health and wellness across the board, at our Healthy Ageing APAC Summit in Singapore this November. Find out more here.

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