ChromaDex chief executive Frank Jaksch was speaking to NutraIngredients-USA.com after securing exclusive worldwide rights to a novel manufacturing process for NR from Cornell University.
Production scale up, safety studies, then regulatory filings…
A vitamin found naturally in milk, NR is a more potent version of niacin (vitamin B3) and a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), increased cellular levels of which have multiple health benefits, said Jaksch.
“The process we’ve licensed is a synthetic process for manufacturing NR. There is not enough NR in milk to make extracting it from that economically viable. This makes it possible.
“The plan is to do for NR what we’ve done with pTeroPure. We’ll most likely start by targeting the dietary supplements sector and then eventually move towards food."
He added: “We’re looking at around a 6-12 month timeline for scaling up production to a commercial level but in parallel we’ll run toxicology/safety studies and start putting together the regulatory package.”
…And human clinical studies to follow
As for the science behind NR, the data Chromadex had seen from Cornell was compelling, said Jaksch.
“We’re excited because we think this is really a next generation niacin story. It’s a better form of the compound. The exciting thing about NR is that it reacts on the NAD pathway, and based on data that we have, it could also be highly synergistic with pterostilbene.
“There are a lot of laboratory studies and some animal studies on NR, but we’ll probably need to do some animal studies and then a human clinical study."
He added: "We’re just starting to look at the scope of this now. Potentially we could look at several areas, but we’ll probably choose a primary area of focus. It could be cardiovascular, or related to blood sugar control, or even related to neuroprotective effects.”
Consumer messaging would be developed accordingly, he said. “The NAD pathway is very important, but consumers are not going to understand what the hell that means – so we’ll have to talk about health benefits that people can understand."
A largely unevaluated molecule?
NR was a “largely unevaluated molecule for the purpose of enhancing cellular NAD levels”, said Dr Anthony Sauve, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
“Our published scientific work has verified that NR is perhaps the most potent NAD enhancing agent ever identified.”