‘Huge consumer segments’: India’s Ishaanav sees nutra opportunities for pre-diabetes, PCOS

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

India’s Ishaanav Nutraceuticals is seeing opportunities for the use of health supplements to manage conditions that currently do not have a specific pharmaceutical intervention, such as pre-diabetes. © Getty Images
India’s Ishaanav Nutraceuticals is seeing opportunities for the use of health supplements to manage conditions that currently do not have a specific pharmaceutical intervention, such as pre-diabetes. © Getty Images

Related tags India pre-diabetes PCOS Ishaanav Nutraceuticals

India’s Ishaanav Nutraceuticals is seeing opportunities for the use of health supplements to manage conditions that currently do not have a specific pharmaceutical intervention, such as pre-diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The contract manufacturer, which also produces its own nutraceutical products, says that there is demand coming from doctors for nutraceuticals to alleviate these health conditions.

It is also eyeing partnerships with pharmaceutical companies in producing nutraceutical products addressing these conditions.

In the case of pre-diabetics, for instance, the diabetic medication metformin is commonly prescribed to manage the condition.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​K. Devasenapathi, the founder and chairman of Ishaanav Nutraceuticals Pvt Ltd, said he has noticed health practitioners demanding for nutraceuticals to manage conditions where there were no specific allopathic or pharmaceutical medications available.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, stress management, hepatitis A, and viral infections are some of the other conditions where nutraceuticals are sought after due to the lack of pharmaceutical options.

“Doctors are looking at nutraceutical solutions for these conditions where there are no specific medications, but nutraceuticals could help.

“Nutraceuticals are phyto-pharmaceuticals or what I call modern Ayurveda,” ​said Devasenapathi who also has experience working as a formulation scientist and running a consultancy business.

The company, which was established in 2016, has developed nutraceutical formulations to alleviate some of these conditions through contract manufacturing or to be made into finished products under its own brand.

One example is Hintosulin, which is a concept developed for managing pre-diabetes and as an adjuvant to type-II diabetes treatment. The company also sells Hintosulin as a finished Foods for Special Dietary Uses (FSDU) product.

The active ingredient is the bark extract Hintonia Latiflora produced by German firm Gehrlicher Herbal Extracts via a patented method.

Findings of a six-month, open, prospective study published in European Journal of Medical Research​ in 2014 showed that the supplementation of Hintonia latiflora extract had improved blood glucose control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers added that the use of the extract could be regarded as safe and useful when an adequate control of blood glucose balance cannot be achieved with dietary measures alone.

The company’s Hintosulin supplements are also sold in India via Amazon, 1mg, and its online platform.

Its other brands include Obiloss containing green coffee bean extracts for weight management among overweight individuals and Abayakasthaa Plus capsule containing ingredients such as ashwagandha, piper longum, ginger, amla etc and claims to reduce the severity of viral infections.

“We have built our own brands because sometimes there might be a clash of interest or that it is not possible to launch certain products through our marketing partners.

“And so, we want to launch our own finished products to serve mankind and to generate revenues to support our research and innovations,” ​Devasenapathi explained.

Targeting pharmaceutical firms

The bulk of Ishaanav’s business comes from contract manufacturing and it is targeting the pharmaceutical companies in growing this particular business.

Hintosulin will be one of the firm’s focuses on the back of a growing diabetic population.

Citing a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology​ last July, Devasenapathi pointed out that the prevalence of diabetes was 11.4 per cent and prediabetes at 15.3 per cent in India.

The prevalence of other chronic diseases was 35.5 per cent for hypertension, 28.6 per cent for generalised obesity, 39.5 per cent for abdominal obesity, and 81.2 per cent for dyslipidaemia.

“Since there are no allopathic medications available for pre-diabetes, we are pitching to the pharmaceutical companies our Hintosulin concept.

“And since they do not have specific solutions for pre-diabetes, with this, they would be targeting a consumer segment that is huge,” ​Devasenapathi said.

He said that the concept could also serve as an adjuvant to diabetic treatment.

“As individuals with type II diabetes could also suffer from fatigue, this product could be given with the main therapy as an adjuvant.

“Also, when they are having uncontrolled diabetic, this could be given as an adjuvant because resistance is built up if a person has been taking metformin, meaning they will need to take a higher dose of the medication as a result,”​ he said.

Outside of India, the company is also eyeing partnership with pharmaceutical companies from the Philippines, Myanmar, Australia, Europe, and the US.

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