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OTC COMPANY NEWS
Oxford Nutrascience offers better taste
Oxford Nutrascience is seeking brand-own- bald and another ex-Boots man,Marcelo Bravo.
ers worldwide to license its delivery sys- tems that use prebiotic soluble fibres to make and healthcare product development at Boots, medicines and food supplements more pleas- while Bravo worked in new business develop- ment for the company. Bravo also worked in Chief executive officer Nigel Theobald said research and development at Procter & Gamble.
the company’s chewy confectionery, chewable Oxford Nutrascience has just raised £1.1 mil- tablets and liquid suspensions could “improve lion before expenses through an initial public taste, mouth feel and active ingredient dispers- offering on London’s Alternative Investment ability”. They could also add prebiotic health Market (AIM). The company now has cash re- sources of approximately £1.5 million, which it plans to use to “develop the business and business partners around the world for its Ell- fund further research and development”.
activa Calcium Chews brand. Ellactiva is cur- According to Oxford Nutrascience, its deliv- rently available in the UK through retailer Al- ery systems based on prebiotic soluble fibres: liance Boots and in the Middle East through Theobald pointed out that “taking calcium ■ Simplify processing and eliminate additives supplements can often be difficult due to the ■ Incorporate prebiotic health benefits unpleasant chalky taste of the supplement”.
In terms of intellectual-property protection, For this reason, he added, Ellactiva had been the company said its technology was the sub- developed with a “unique blend of calcium ject of two patent applications, both initially Nigel Theobald, chief executive officer of Oxford
carbonate and milk minerals to create better- filed in the UK. One covers the confectionery Nutrascience, says the company’s new delivery
systems can improve the taste and feel in the mouth

composition while the other involves the deliv- of food supplements and OTC medicines
yond calcium chews this year. Theobald said Theobald maintained Oxford Nutrascience’s liquid suspensions, Theobald said these were the company had developed a range of forti- chewy confectionery was a “great format for suitable for OTC medicines, particularly for fied confectionery containing omega-3, gluco- unpleasant-to-take supplements, such as large patients and consumers with swallowing dif- samine, cranberry extract and other ingredients.
calcium tablets, or children’s supplements”.
ficulties. “This is a common problem among These had previously been difficult to deliver “Anyone with young children will know how the elderly and children, but also all age groups in this way, he added, due to taste issues and much easier it is to get kids to take supple- who are ill, in bed or on the go,” he added.
degradation of the ingredient in the cooking pro- ments if they enjoy them,” he observed.
Theobald noted that the company’s medi- cess. Each chew had the required dose to make cines development work was focused on chew- it an effective supplement, he noted.
Could lead to a gritty texture
able allergy tablets containing the active ingre- It is still early days for Oxford Nutrascience, Traditional confectionery chews were made dient loratadine, as well as suspensions con- which through the Ellactiva brand had sales of soft, Theobald noted, by balancing the use of £43,000 (C49,000) in the year ended 31 Dec- crystallising sugars (sucrose) with reducing sug- Chewitabs chewable tablets produce a light ember 2008 and £36,000 in the eight months ars (glucose syrup). Adding minerals to tradi- ‘crunch’ when bitten and then form a soft chew ended 31 August 2009. The company’s operat- tional confectionery chews could lead to a gritty that dissolves quickly in the mouth. This meant ing loss increased from £120,000 in 2008 to texture, he added, as the minerals could change that they could be taken without water, Theo- £174,000 in the first eight months of 2009.
the balance and promote crystallisation.
The taste benefits of using traditional con- fectionery chews could also be outweighed by convenience-driven OTC medicines – such as the high sugar content, he said, but reducing analgesics, allergy treatments and digestive aids the sugar and fat content of a traditional con- fectionery chew could compromise both taste dard tablet-compression equipment and pres- sures, said Theobald, and came in a range of biotic soluble fibres to reduce the sugars and sizes to allow for different doses of ingredi- fat traditionally used to make chews and to pro- vide favourable organoleptic properties. “Our Commenting on its liquid suspensions, Ox- fortified chew is reduced in sugar and fat, and ford Nutrascience notes that gels, syrups and high in prebiotic fibre,” claimed Theobald, “but suspensions are widely used delivery systems Oxford Nutrascience is seeking partners around the
with the same soft texture as traditional con- for a range of medicines and nutraceuticals, and world for its Ellactiva Calcium Chews, which are
are generally used for children’s analgesics and currently only available in the UK from Alliance Boots
and in the Middle East from Hauora Products

Moving on to the company’s Chewitab and cough and cold medicines. “However, the for- OTC bulletin 26 February 2010
COMPANY NEWS OTC
mulation of these medicines poses a number ofchallenges including dispersing hydrophobicingredients, maintaining stability and provid-ing for acceptable organoleptic properties,” thecompany says. “Typically, formulations use arange of dispersants and stabilisers and also tendto have sugars or sweeteners added to them forflavour enhancement.” The company claims it has developed a sus- pension system for delivering medicines andnutraceuticals without the need for traditionalsurfactant and stabiliser ingredients. “Our sus-pension system not only remains stable overtime but is also adequately preserved,” says thecompany. “It is based on soluble fibres that arenaturally sweet, so the need for extra sweet-eners is minimised or, in some instances, canbe avoided altogether.” “Moreover, given the ability of our delivery system to effectively wet and disperse hydro-phobic ingredients,” adds the firm, “it could bemanufactured via a one-step mixing processwhich is simpler and may offer cost savingsrelative to a multistep process.” ■ For more information contact Nigel Theobald, chiefexecutive officer, Oxford Nutrascience Group, Centre for Innovation & Enterprise, Oxford University, Beg- broke Science Park, Sandly Lane, Yarnton, Oxford- shire OX5 1PF, UK (Tel: +44 1865 854874; Email: First published in OTC bulletin
The Business Newsletter for Europe’s Consumer Healthcare Industry
www.otc-bulletin.com
26 February 2010 OTC bulletin

Source: http://www.oxfordpharmascience.com/archive/OTC_Bulletin.pdf

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