From medical nutrition to the mainstream: India’s Esperer Nutrition launches 10-strong nutraceutical range

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Enorma is a nutraceutical brand by Esperer Nutrition.
Enorma is a nutraceutical brand by Esperer Nutrition.

Related tags: India, Cancer prevention research, Obesity, Diabetes

Mumbai firm Esperer Nutrition has launched a range of consumer nutraceuticals for the global market, after making its mark with its flagship cancer medical nutrition products last year.

Known as Enorma, its disease prevention nutrition portfolio was launched in June and currently has 10 nutraceuticals for bone and joint health, immunity, urinary tract health, sleep apnea, and pre-diabetic care.

The company started out last year with a series of Foods for Medical Purposes (FSMPs) catered to the needs of cancer patients who are undergoing different stages of treatment. The firm also has products addressing nutritional needs of patients suffering from different cancers.

The brand of products is known as Esperer Onco Nutrition ​and are distributed via physician prescription.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​Raktim Chattopadhyay, founder and CEO of Esperer Nutrition, said that the company was diversifying it portfolio from cancer nutrition to cancer prevention.

“Cancer is a multi-disciplinary disease. It is linked to a lot of non-communicable diseases. Suppose a person is obese and has diabetes, the chances of developing cancer are higher than a person who is not obese and diabetic.

“If we want to specialise in the area of cancer, we have to work on areas where we can control the cancer. There are two aspects to it, one is cancer management and the other is about prevention. Prevention is done by interfering with the risk factors which can cause cancer, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases.

“Also, there is the gut-brain axis where the communication between the gut and brain is highly controlled. Any issues in the communication between the brain and gut may lead to a disease like cancer,” ​he said.

This is also the reason why the company has developed products such as a pre-diabetic care product to prevent the onset of diabetes by reducing blood glucose level.

The product contains the extracts of banaba leaf (lagerstroemia speciosa), fenugreek, bitter melon, grape seed, gymemasylvestre, ashwagandha, as well as curcumin, lutein, zeaxanthin, L-leucine, alpha lipoic acid, vitamins and minerals.

All the Enorma products were developed by the firm’s R&D entity Esperer Nutrition Development Centre (ENDC) based on the “Diet-Infection-Nutrition-Immunity” (DINI) axis.

The idea is to modulate the gut microbiota through nutrition to reduce the risk factors causing non-communicable diseases that could lead to cancers.

gut research
Esperer Nutrition is studying how modulating the gut microbiota could reduce the risk factors causing cancer. ©Getty Images 

“There are nutrients which are considered immunomodulators and the modulation of the immunity system is possible by the use of some of these nutrients which may not be accessible all the time via the normal diet.

“And so, we carefully designed our products with these immunomodulatory nutrients and supplementation will potentially provide modulation towards a healthy gut microbiome.”

Using polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) as an example, he said that obesity, diet and diabetes were the common causes of the disease as they disrupt hormonal balance of the body.

Thus, one of the products from Enorma aims to manage PCOD by managing hormonal balance, blood sugar levels, and fat metabolism.

Key ingredients used are zinc and manganese to maintain hormonal balance, vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid to reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Other ingredients include fenugreek extract, green tea extract, gymnema sylvestre (woody climbing shrub) extract, glycyrrhiza glabra extract to regulate menstruation.

The proof of concept of the DINI axis has been completed and there is an ongoing large-scale study on this concept.

Large scale study ​ 

Spanning for two years, the large-scale study will include laboratory experiment, animal model studies, chemical experiment, and a phase III randomised clinical trial.

“The outcome that we are looking at is how in spite of the large diversity of the food habits from various regions of India as well as South East Asian countries, how in spite of genetic differentiation, food habits, cultures, ritual differences, and in spite of metabolic differences from region to region, what are those common interventions responsible for developing the risk factors or encouraging the risk factors which can cause NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some kinds of cancers, and stroke,”​ Chattopadhyay said.

For the clinical trial, he said that it would involve different populations in India with different gut microbiota composition and would trial a combination of immunomodulatory nutrients including pre/pro/postbiotics on them. 

In-house research

On the other hand, the company has been growing its team at the ENDC, which now has a team of 10 scientists.

The centre will not only formulate products for the company but will also provide services for other companies.

Chattopadhyay said it has signed MoU with a number of companies, including two international companies which would engage its R&D services.

NPD

At the moment, the company is developing nutraceuticals related to cardiovascular health, where it will look into areas such as cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein A, and fatty liver.

“Fatty liver is very common. If left unchecked, it generally takes about 20 to 25 years to progress from fatty liver to liver carcinoma.

“We are developing products tackling various stages of the disease progression, for example, product for those who with a fatty liver, those who have got liver fibrosis, those with liver cirrhosis…We are developing products for all these stages of hepatic management,” ​Chattopadhyay said.

In total, there are 15 products under development.

International expansion

The company is on track to launch its products from both Enorma and Esperer Onco Nutrition in South East Asia, Japan, Europe, and the US.

To facilitate its entry into Europe, it set up Esperer Nutrition UK Ltd this year, which will be the gateway to other European countries and the US.

Chattopadhyay said the company would start shipping products to the UK, UAE, GCC countries, Vietnam, and Thailand by the end of September.

The next phase of expansion will include Japan and the US.

“We are expanding into countries with stringent regulations and good regulatory policies as doing so provides recognition of the science behind our products and gives confidence about the products.

“We will also get to develop our regulatory capabilities and find out the product permutations permitted as per each country’s laws.”

Seeing a quick growth in the past few months, the company’s Q1 sales alone were equivalent to that of its entire sales performance last year.

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