Chr Hansen-Jarrow deal takes Urex into the US

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chr hansen, Probiotic, Lactobacillus

Chr Hansen and Jarrow Formulas have signed an agreement that will
bring Urex-cap-5, a probiotic supplement for healthy vaginal flora,
to the United States for the first time.

Urex-cap-5 is said to be the oral probiotic clinically documented to restore and maintain healthy vaginal flora and reduce the risk of urogenital ingections. Chr Hansen entered into a licence to produce and market the probiotic with Urex Biotech in 2004, and since last year has jointly distributed it with Sweden's BioGaia.

In the US, it will be marketed by Jarrow as a supplement under the brand-name Fem-Dophilus.

Urex-cap-5, which contains the trademarked probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1​ and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14​, is already contained in products marketed in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and Germany.

But Steen Anderson, VP for Chr Hansen's human health and nutrition business unit, said that the US is "clearly one of the most important global markets for probiotics.

"The agreement with Jarrow Formulas is another very important step in our company's strategy to commercialise the Urex concept on a global scale and be the leading supplier of probiotic concepts for women's health."

For its part, Jarrow - a company that prides itself on the science behind its formulations and gets involved in clinical studies at universities and institutes around the globe - is also keen to strengthen its position.

President Jarrow Rogovin said: "The introduction of Fem-Dophilus will solidify our position as a leading provider of value-added probiotics in the US"​.

The company currently offers ten products under its Dophilus brand, as well as several others under other, smaller brands.

Certainly the market is there to be tapped: market research indicated that American women spend almost $300m a year on non-prescription products for infections such as yeast and urinary tract infections.

And awareness of probiotics is slowly seeping into the US consciousness - although it is more closely associated with gut health than women's health.

A report from Business Communications Company published last May estimated that total sales of probiotics were worth $764 million in 2005, with foods such as yogurts, kefirs and cultured drinks accounting for 65.2 percent of the total.

Probiotic supplements are also proving popular: capsules, tablets and powders were expected to make up 27.6 percent of sales.

Of the $51.7 million in ingredient sales in 2004, the Lactobacillus genus​ strain was by far the most popular, representing 58.2 percent of sales.

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