BioGaia, Abbott in partnership to distribute probiotics to medical professionals in Singapore

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

BioGaia is targeting the medical professionals for the distribution of two of its probiotic products – Gastrus and Protectis – in Singapore. ©Getty Images
BioGaia is targeting the medical professionals for the distribution of two of its probiotic products – Gastrus and Protectis – in Singapore. ©Getty Images

Related tags Biogaia Abbott Singapore

BioGaia has partnered with Abbott to distribute two of its probiotic products to medical professionals in Singapore.

The two products are Gastrus and Protectis,with the latter the company’s most popular product targeted at gastrointestinal problems in infants and children. 

In children, Protectis is used to address infantile colic, functional constipation, functional abdominal pain, and infectious diarrhea.

BioGaia Protectis baby drops for gut health
BioGaia Protectis Baby drops ©BioGaia

At the same time, it is meant for adults in cases of antibiotic associated diarrhea, infectious diarrhea, and functional constipation. The product contains the patented Limosilactobacillus reuteri​ Protectis (L. reuteri​ DSM 17938).

BioGaia Protectis for gut health lemon flavour
BioGaia Protectis chewable tablets ©BioGaia

Gastrus, on the other hand, could be used to address H.pylori ​infection and potentially irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It contains the patented Limosilactobacillus reuteri​ Gastrus – a formula consisting of L. reuteri​ DSM 17938 and L. reuteri​ ATCC PTA 6475.

BioGaia Gastrus for gut health
BioGaia Gastrus ©BioGaia

Protectis is the main focus for Abbott Singapore currently, and is distributed to both ethical and trade channels, where primary target groups are first the paediatricians and general practitioners, then end-consumers.

Gastrus is for clinic channels exclusively, where the target group would be gastroenterologists. The sales channels are designed based on the target indications of respective products,​Hok Ting Yau, regional manager and office Head – Asia-Pacific told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Abbott is also BioGaia’s distribution partner in Thailand and Latin America.

“In this particular partnership with Abbott in Singapore, we see great synergy together, as Abbott’s extensive medical network could allow us to unleash BioGaia’s product potential even further, and we look very much forward to it,” ​Yau said. 

Asia’s half-year performance

In its FY2021 half year results published last month, BioGaia said sales in APAC was up 11 per cent, amounting to SEK$97.2m (US$11.1m).

The increase was attributable to the adult health portfolio, while sales within the paediatrics portfolio had decreased from last year’s SEK$50,210,000 to SEK$46,967,000 in the first six months of this year. This was mainly due to the slowdown in sales of Protectis drops in China and the Philippines.

As for adult health, sales was up from SEK$37.1m (US$4.2m) to SEK$49.3m (US$5.7m), led by growth in Japan, China and Australia.

Including other products, the company recorded total sales of SEK$97.2m (US$11.1m) in APAC – this was an increase from last year’s SEK$87.8m (US$10.1m).

The company also revealed details on the performance of key products in different APAC countries.

For example, sales of Gastrus had increased in Japan, China, and Thailand.

Sales of Protectis tablets had increased in Australia and Indonesia.

On the other hand, sales of oral health probiotics Prodentis, a popular product in Japan, had decreased in the country. However, the decline was partly offset by increased sales in China.

Overall, the company’s total revenue between January and June this year was SEK$405.1m (US$47.4m), down five per cent yoy. Profit after tax was SEK$54.8m (US$6.4m), down 31 per cent.

Distribution strategy

BioGaia said that medical marketing has been the main business model in most of the countries that it operated in.

However, COVID-19 had affected this particular sales channel.

“Due to the Covid-19 situation, our distributors’ sales forces have not been able to visit doctors and pharmacy staff, which are our key target groups for medical marketing, to the same extent as previously.

“Furthermore, long-term lockdowns in many countries have meant that consumers have had limited opportunities to visit the principal sales channels for our products – physical pharmacies, hospitals and, in Japan, dental surgeries,” ​said Isabelle Ducellier, president and CEO.

As such, the company said it has been adapting to the disruption using online tools, telephone, and video meetings.

“We will continue to implement our successful omnichannel strategy. In order to increase awareness of our brand and our market share we have recruited specialists and created a new division called BioGaia Digital.

“We will maintain a strong focus on science and marketing to the healthcare sector. After the successful establishment of the BioGaia Academy for paediatricians, we have launched BioGaia Oral Academy aimed at dentists.

“With our double focus on both consumers and healthcare professionals, we are strengthening BioGaia’s brand globally among additional target groups,” ​Ducellier said.

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