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Alimentary Health Launches New Precision Probiotic in Ireland

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Alimentary Health, a Global innovation leader in the development and commercialisation of precision probiotics and pharmabiotic technologies for gastrointestinal disorders has announced the launch of a new precision biotic™ product ‘AlflorexTM’.

‘AlflorexTM’ is based on the science of a patented and well documented probiotic culture Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (B. infantis 35624). First discovered in Cork, this culture has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in several published studies in patients suffering from  irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)1,2; which is a condition estimated to affect between 10-15% per cent of Irish adults.3

Alimentary Health, founded in 1999, is a spin-out company from University College Cork (UCC) and a founding member of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC).

Alimentary Health has already seen significant commercial success in other markets, as a result of strategic alliances with leading global healthcare players. Alimentary Health licensed the probiotic strain B. infantis 35624 to Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 2005 who today market B.infantis 35624 a in product under the brand name Align® in the United States and Canada.  Align® is now the number one Gastroenterologist-recommended probiotic product in the US.5

Alimentary Health, has a strong technology pipeline of new probiotic cultures in addition to B. infantis 35264.  It has also developed a portfolio containing over 100 patents across multiple territories.

Speaking at the launch of Alflorex®, Sean Sherlock TD Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Department of Education & Skills with responsibility for Research & Innovation said “The launch of ‘Alflorex’ is an exciting development, not only for Alimentary Health, but also for the wider biopharmaceutical and healthcare sector.  Alimentary Health is an excellent example of an indigenous Irish company that has commercialised world class research from Irish universities and is competing in global markets.  Alimentary Health has had a long standing close relationship with the APC, which I launched in June of last year, and has played a key role in commercialising the research undertaken in the Centre”.

Commenting on the launch of Alflorex in Ireland, Professor Eamonn Quigley, one of the early investigators and Chief of Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Houston Methodist Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, said:

“Conventional management of IBS is often suboptimal often addressing only one of the several symptoms that comprise the syndrome.  In studies in IBS patients, B. infantis 35624 has been shown to improve all of the cardinal symptoms of the condition. This is one of the few probiotic products which has been truly developed on a scientific basis and tested in high quality clinical studies.”

Alimentary Health co-founder and CEO Dr Barry Kiely, who also addressed guests at the launch said:

“Science has shown us that not all probiotic cultures are the same. Alimentary Health’s new and breakthrough scientific research is recognised around the world as being at the cutting edge of discovery and application in precision probiotics. This research is demonstrating that a new level of strain specificity can be achieved, where it is possible to select the most appropriate culture for the particular problem, rather than simply relying on the generalised effect of conventional probiotics. These ‘Precision Biotics’ ™ achieve a superior level of efficacy in a so-called ‘smart’ or targeted action to deliver benefit where it is needed.

An exact figure for the incidence of IBS in Ireland is unknown, but estimates from other European countries indicate between 10-15% of the adult population suffer with this condition.3 Females are twice as likely to be affected as males. IBS is a complex and debilitating condition for which there is no known cause. However, many doctors now agree that symptoms can be triggered by psychological as well as physical factors.

Alflorex® will be available over the counter (OTC) from pharmacies nationwide from mid February 2014 with a recommended RSP of €32.95 for one month’s supply of the daily capsule.

photo (l-r) Prof. Eamonn Quigley, Dr Barry Kiely, CEO & Mr Sean Sherlock TD, Minister for Research & Innovation

20 February 2014