Muscle-building probiotics: Taiwan’s Synbiotech partners with Lonza for US and Europe entry

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 is a proprietary probiotic strain that has shown to build muscle mass. ©Getty Images
Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 is a proprietary probiotic strain that has shown to build muscle mass. ©Getty Images

Related tags Taiwan Probiotics Sports nutrition

Taiwanese firm Synbiotech is introducing its proprietary muscle-building probiotic ingredient beyond the APAC markets through an exclusive partnership with Lonza.

This is the first time that Synbiotech has partnered with Lonza and the goal is to promote its proprietary muscle building probiotic ingredient Lactobacillus plantarum​ TWK10 to the US, Canadian, European, and Brazilian markets. 

According to the company, under the partnership, Lonza will promote the ingredient to brand companies, as well as incorporating the probiotic with other ingredients into a new formula and introduce it to the brand owners.

Said to be the world’s first probiotics for building muscle mass, human clinical trials​ have showed that supplementation could increase aerobic endurance performance and post-exercise blood glucose concentration.

The strain is isolated from the Taiwan pickled vegetables and research on the strain started about 11 years ago by the National Taiwan Sport University.

Lisa Chen, assistant marketing manager at Synbiotech told NutraIngredients-Asia ​that the finished products containing TWK10 were introduced into the domestic Taiwanese market this year.

She told us that the products focus on balancing the microflora to enhance exercise performance and reduce fat mass.

Examples include MVProbiotics by the National Taiwan Sport University and is available in a sachet form with a probiotic count of CFU 10bn.

Another example is Sports Probiotics by UNIQMAN which comes in the form of a vegetable capsule. The formula contains 100mg of TWK 10 and 300mg of creatine. 

Fellow Taiwanese firm YM Biomed also launched a probiotic sachet under the brand “In the Family”. Containing TWK10 for maintaining energy levels and another proprietary probiotic strain YMB520 for boosting metabolism, the product is targeted at the female market. 

Lonza and Synbiotech spent more than a year negotiating and defining the direction of the collaboration, said Dr San Land Young, human healthcare global operation head.

“(This) has set a significant milestone to the internationalisation of Taiwan’s probiotic industry,”​ he said.

“We have defined Sports Nutrition & Active Living as one of our strategic growth areas and Synbiotech's innovative TWK10 probiotic is a perfect complementation of our portfolio in this market,”​ said Dr. Thomas Kiy, vice president strategy and portfolio development, Lonza.

APAC priorities

In APAC, the company said it also hoped to expand within the region and it currently has strong presence in China and Taiwan. 

“In APAC, Synbiotech has strong presence in China and Taiwan where we should be able to push out TWK10 with our current channel,”​ Chen said.

Some of the APAC markets that the company is aiming include both North East and South East Asia.

“On top of cooperation with Lonza Group, Synbiotech will be gradually deploying its international network during 2020-2021.

“We are convinced that TWK10® probiotic products will be launched soon throughout the major global markets in EU, North America, Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea and China,” said Kuie-ming Lee, vice president of human healthcare, Synbiotech.

Further development

Aside from commercial projects, Synbiotech will also work with Lonza to further optimise the TWK10 probiotic and apply it to different dosage formats.

Chen said there were several ongoing projects which were confidential and one of the focus was to find out more about the strain’s other sports-related functions.

They also hoped to expand their knowledge on the relationship between microbiome and sports performance.

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