‘Significant positive effects’: South Korea’s AceBiome launching immune probiotic tested on COVID-19 patients

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

AB-Immune will be launched in April. ©AceBiome
AB-Immune will be launched in April. ©AceBiome

Related tags Probiotics South korea COVID-19

South Korea probiotic firm AceBiome will be launching an immune formula in April that was the subject of a clinical trial involving COVID-19 patients.

The product is a collaboration with ingredient supplier AB Biotics and will contain the firm’s four-strain probiotic blend AB21.

The blend has been shown in a clinical trial to improve COVID-19 in patients, including reduction of viral load, shorten the duration of symptoms and improve the rate of remission.

Findings of the randomised, quadruple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 300 subjects were published in Gut Microbes​ in January. 

The four strains that AB21 comprises are Lactiplantibacillus plantarum​ KABP022, KABP023, KAPB033, and Pediococcus acidilactici​ KABP021.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​Myeong Hee Kim, founder and CEO of AceBiome, said that the company has clinched exclusive rights for selling AB21 in South Korea.

It also enjoys non-exclusive distribution in seven territories, namely China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The product that AceBiome will launch in South Korea is known as ‘AB-Immune’ and also contains zinc.

As we live in this COVID-19 era and we naturally became tremendously interested in immune health and gut-lung axis.

“This multi-strain probiotic product incorporates AB-Biotics’ formulation ‘AB21’ which has been clinically shown to exhibit significant positive effects in COVID-19 outpatients.

“AB-Immune will be offered as a health functional food supplement for intestinal health and normal immune function. We expect that AB-Immune will be able to help people living in this era of COVID-19,” ​Kim said, on the reasons behind the launch.

New markets

The company is working on introducing its specialty – weight management probiotics – into the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia one of its initial destinations.  

The product, BNRThin, which focuses on weight management is the company’s bestselling SKU. 

BNR thin
BNRThin Pro

A single strain product, it contains Lactobacillus gasseri​ BNR17 and is available in various formats, such as capsules, stick powder, and can be added with protein powder.

The product also won the NutraIngredients-Asia Award 2020’s Probiotic Product of the Year​, while the probiotic strain BNR17 won the Ingredient of the Year (weight management) in NutraIngredients-USA Award 2018.   

Kim explained that weight management was of concern in the Middle East region – not just for a better outer appearance, but also for a healthier weight.

She noted that the product has also gained remarkable organic growth in China and Singapore.

Elsewhere in Malaysia, it is launching a kids product, BNRKids, via the TV shopping channel.

Menopause, pet health in focus

Probiotics for alleviating menopausal symptoms in women is the next bestselling item from the company.

The product known as BNR Queen also helps with weight management.

We observe that weight gain is a common issue for middle-aged women due to the hormone change. BNR17 is one of the main active ingredients along with sophoricoside in BNR Queen,”​ Kim explained.

The company also launched the product “PetSlim Probiotics” in Q4 last year for promoting digestive health in pets.

The product contains Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 ​and Lactobacillus plantarum.

“This one is getting popular in communities living with overweight pet dogs and cats, since having a healthy weight is also important for pets,”​ she said.

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