COVID-19’s lactoferrin boost: Jatenergy hits record sales and plans to make anti-viral supplement

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Jatenergy's Neurio - a lactoferrin-enriched milk powder.
Jatenergy's Neurio - a lactoferrin-enriched milk powder.

Related tags Australia lactoferrin China COVID-19

Australian-listed Jatenergy has revealed record-breaking sales as demand for its lactoferrin dairy products surged in China.

The firm hit a record monthly revenue of AUD$8.5m (US$5.4m) in February and AUD$8.1m (US$5.2m) in March, it said in its Q1 financial report.

Taking the limelight is its Neurio lactoferrin milk powder offerings, which cater to infants, middle-aged adults and the elderly.

At its peak in February, the product range brought in sales of AUD$5.2m (US$3.3m), almost a five-fold jump from last February’s AUD$1.09m (US$702k).

Although sales dropped in March to AUD$2.7m (US$1.7), it was still nearly seven times higher compared to last March’s AUD$388,000 (US$250k).

The China-Australia trade specialist said that demand was particularly strong in China due to COVID-19.

“Revenue is running at record levels…We are well-placed to maintain these heightened activity levels, having invested heavily in our brands, manufacturing capabilities, distribution, and marketing,”​ MD Wilton Yao said.

It is expecting a half-year revenue of AUD$50m (US$32m) by June as well as continued growth in its dairy products for the rest of this year.

We continue to see positive near-term growth drivers for our business, with demand stoked by global circumstances and our ability to deliver reinforced by the investments we have made over the past year,” ​Yao said.

The firm also recently received fresh funds of $5m (US$3.2m), which it said would help to develop new products, as well as increase raw material and inventory levels.

Anti-viral supplement

It will also partner with the University of Sydney in developing a lactoferrin-based antiviral food supplement.

The supplement will exhibit antiviral activity against common infectious diseases such as influenza, herpes simplex virus and norovirus.

 “This effect of lactoferrin is the result of its ability to sequester iron in biological fluids and destabilise the membranes of micro-organisms,”​ the firm said.  

The University of Sydney will screen and test anti-viral compounds using naturally derived products, with the aim of identifying candidate formulations that possess anti-viral activity.

On the other hand, the firm would provide lactoferrin and lactoferrin-based products for testing.

The one-year long research is expected to culminate into registration with the Therapeutic Goods Administration if successful and product marketing in late 2021 or early 2022.

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