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MYOS Corp. grows market for myostatin inhibitor beyond the gym

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By Hank Schultz

Last updated on 31-Jul-2014 at 17:30 GMT

MYO-X, the company's consumer product, is a granular, sweetened powder that is consumed by the spoonful.
MYO-X, the company's consumer product, is a granular, sweetened powder that is consumed by the spoonful.

Myos Corporation has built the market for its myostatin-inhibiting ingredient Fortetropin beyond the gym and into the offices of physician groups treating elderly patients. To secure the supply for the ingredeint the company has extending a manufacturing and supply agreement with German supplier DIL.


“We have always been working with DIL in a supply agreement,” Robert Ashton, MD, chief medical officer of Myos told NutraIngredients-USA. “We have improved the terms of the agreement."

DIL stands for Deutsches Institut fuer Lebensmitteltechnik e.V ("DIL"), the German Institute for Food Technologies.  DIL manufactures Fortetropin from the yolks of fertilized hens eggs, taking advantage of the rapid chemical changes that occur in the yolk after fertilization. It supplies a suite of nutrients that have largely disappeared from the Western diet as fertilized eggs are almost never consumed in the modern-day food system.

Fortetropin is a new name for MYO-T12, the label the company has been using for the ingredient in the past, Ashton said.

“MYO-T12 was more of a formulation denomination. The active ingredinet itself hasn’t changed, and the underlying science is the same. Fortetropin is a bioactive proteolipid complex composed of more than 250 proteins, 50 lipids and a variety of peptides,”  he said.

Myos has evidence showing that the ingredient inhibits myostatin, which is part of a metabolic regulatory pathway in the body that puts a brake on muscle growth and has other effects, such as enhancing insulin sensistivy. In some mammals, such as the Belgian Blue breed of cattle, a genetic anomaly leaves these animals with very low levels of myostatin and as a result they produce an almost grotesque amount of musculature.

The goal of Fortetropin is not to mimic that effect, but rather to gently suppress myostatin production to allow greater muscle growth with moderate exercise. The company says it has evidence from a study done with 10 male subjects showing that a 10 mg dose of Fortetropin resulted in a temporary 46% drop in myostatin from baseline.  The company has completed another study on male subjects who did moderate amounts of resistance training, showing muscle gains.  That study awaits publication.  And the company is in the midst of a study on healthy adult females.


Beyond the gym

The company’s first target was fitness enthusiast and body builders because of the ingredient’s demonstated effects on muscle growth and body composition.  But the healthy aging market was always a target, too, and it is a market that the company is now starting to break into, Ashton said.  The evidence from the recent study on males shows that the muscle growth occurs with only modest exercise, with obvious implications for combating sarcopenia, the muscle wasting associated with aging.  While the company’s data currently applies to younger individuals, Ashton said there is no reason to assume it wouldn’t apply to older cosumers, too.

“We were previously in the supplement market. We have moved into the age management area through private labeling for physician groups that have age management practices.  As we age, testosterone and human growth hormone production decreases and myostatin increases.  Wouldn’t it be great  if you had the physiological processes that you had when you were younger?  At least in terms of myostatin, we are able to do that,” Ashton said.

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