Probi signs agreement with pharma company Cilag on probiotic OTC product

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23 Mar 2018 --- Probi has signed a long-term agreement with Cilag, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, for the development of a probiotic product. The rapid growth of the probiotic segment and new exciting research on the importance of human microbiota have increased interest from pharma companies, and their consumer healthcare divisions, in probiotic product development, Probi notes.

“The probiotic market [is set to] continue to grow. Consumer demand for clinically documented probiotic products will increase as the consumer awareness and probiotic knowledge increases,” Linda Neckmar, VP EMEA & APAC, Probi, tells NutritionInsight.

Probi has over 25 years of experience in the development of clinically substantiated, health-enhancing probiotics. The long-term agreement with Cilag will aim to further expand Probi's product development pipeline and commercialize its strain portfolio. The parties will jointly initiate a probiotic development program. The program will be funded under non-disclosed financial terms by Cilag GmbH International and Probi will contribute with probiotic expertise.

“We are very happy to initiate this development program together with a strong global partner in OTC. By combining Probi´s probiotic expertise with the pharma company's development resources and regulatory expertise, we will form a very strong team moving forward together,” says Ole Søgaard Andersen CEO of Probi.

The companies are currently not providing any comment on the scope of the joint research, targeted audience or applications. 

In company-related news, Probi's largest clinical trial ever, focused on probiotic immune health, in February confirmed a strong clinical immune enhancing effect of Probi Defendum. According to the company, the study proves that Probi Defendum helps protect against recurrent colds and sheds some light on the mechanism of action behind the effect.

In 2017, net sales in Probi’s Functional Food business area amounted to MSEK 34.2 (US$4.3 million), corresponding to 6 percent of total net sales. The company’s functional food business also made further strategic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. A probiotic yogurt containing Probi’s LP299V was launched in South Korea by Asian food and beverage company Lotte. In Australia, a probiotic sparkling drink filled with Probi Plantarum 6595 for improved digestive function and a strengthened microbiota was launched under the Kréol brand.

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