06 Feb 2018 --- The world’s older population continues to grow at an astounding rate. According to a report by the US’ Census Bureau, nearly 17 percent of the world’s population will be aged 65 and over by 2050, up from the current 8 percent. This aging of the population is reflected in a rising interest in age-related health aspects such as bone and joint health. Unsurprisingly maybe, mobility has also become a key area of focus as the loss of physical mobility that so often accompanies aging is the number one reason why many elderly people end up in nursing homes.
The Spanish biotech company Bioiberica specializes itself in the research, development, production and distribution of products, active ingredients and personalized medicine for joint health and mobility, including biomolecules such as chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid.
NutritionInsight spoke with Jose Antonio López Sánchez, Product Manager Human Health at Bioiberica, about market trends in the joint health space, promising ingredients and the company’s views on sustainability and traceability. When it comes to improving their mobility, “consumers are seeking products with proven efficacy, safety and convenient dosages that allow them to keep healthy joints,” says López Sánchez. “Sports people, women, especially during menopause, and seniors over 65 are all driving business opportunities for our products.”
“The joint health market is steadily growing,” López Sánchez notes. “Consumers of all ages are increasingly concerned with maintaining an active lifestyle as a way to stay healthy.” However, exercise is a demonstrated risk factor for joint conditions, with running 20 miles per week doubling the probability of developing osteoarthritis, for instance. As a result, more than 40 percent of the population over 45 suffers from some form of joint discomfort.
For this reason, consumers are increasingly seeking new products that allow them to keep their joints healthy and improve their mobility, opening up an array of NPD options for suppliers. According to Innova Market Insights data, From 2012 to 2016, food & beverages and supplements new product launches tracked with joint health claims witnessed a +30 percent CAGR (2012-2016) growth. Globally, supplements account for the largest percentage of new product launches for joint health, followed by sports nutrition and drinks from 2012 to 2016.
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Further data show that glucosamine, Msm and chondroitin have been the main ingredients over the past five years, while products with hyaluronic acid saw the highest CAGR (+24 percent, 2012-2016) among the most used ingredients for joint health.
“Regarding new ingredients driving innovation in joint health, hyaluronic acid and collagen type 2 ingredients are among the three most used ingredients,” López Sánchez notes.
Within the Joint Health market, Bioiberica has identified two main market trends which inform the company’s research and development trajectory.
“On one side, there is a clear trend towards low dosage ingredients that allow more convenient formulations. And this is particularly interesting when we talk about collagen products. One dose of hydrolyzed collagen is 10 grams which limits the type of finish product that contains it,” López Sánchez notes. “That’s why Bioiberica has developed b-2cool, an undenatured type II collagen that has demonstrated efficacy in supporting joint health at a very low dose (40 mg) thanks to an immune-mediated mechanism of action.”
Another important market trend is that the market is evolving from joint health to a wider concept of mobility, which also includes bone and muscle health. According to Innova Market Insights, product launches targeting mobility grew 37 percent between 2012 and 2016, he notes.
These figures prompted Bioiberica to develop Mobilee, a patented ingredient with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid (up to 75 percent) and other ingredients such as collagen and polysaccharides that improve mobility.
“The efficacy of Mobilee has been proven in five clinical trials demonstrating that it lubricates the joints by stimulating the endogenous synthesis of hyaluronic acid and increases muscle strength, resulting into a global improvement of mobility,” he states.
Apart from Mobilee and b-2cool, Bioberica offers a range of branded ingredients for joint health and mobility, such as Tendoactive (a proprietary formulation clinically proven to improve tendon health and recovery) and CS b-Bioactive (the most researched brand of Chondroitin and Bioiberica’s flagship active ingredient).
Consumers are more conscious than ever about making responsible consumption choices that are not only healthy, but that also take sustainability as well as ethical considerations into account. As a result, addressing aspects such as traceability and sustainability has become unavoidable for suppliers.
“At Bioiberica we control production from start to finish with total traceability. Our products are always manufactured according to Good Manufacturing Practices, in addition to following rigorous environmental and pharmaceutical standards,” López Sánchez says.
“We have production units located in several countries (Spain, USA, Poland, Italy and Brazil), where we select the highest quality raw materials with strict controls and carry out the first part of the purification processes. The last steps in the production process of our ingredients are carried out in our main factory in Palafolls (Barcelona - Spain) to obtain products of the maximum purity and safety,” he says.
With regards to sustainability, Bioiberica’s Environmental Policy encourages the continuous application of measures to improve energy efficiency and to reduce water consumption and emissions to the atmosphere.
“Particularly, with the wastewater, we carry out a complex biological treatment that drastically reduces the contaminants dissolved in this water,” López Sánchez notes. “The inclusion of the environmental factor in the company's daily work has had economic, managerial and personnel satisfaction benefits. Bioiberica firmly believes that these are the roads to obtain the satisfaction of our personnel, customers, suppliers, shareholders and socio-ecological environment.”
By Lucy Gunn