PacificHealth seeks partners to tap satiety technology potential

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

PacificHealth Laboratories is preparing for the launch of the first
products containing its Satietrim satiety ingredient, and is
looking for partners to help speed its use in more foods available
at retail.

Dr Robert Portman, CEO of PacificHealth, explained to NutraIngredients-USA.com that the technology behind Satietrim has its roots in a discovery made by scientists at Columbia and Cornell Universities 30 years ago.

They found that when you eat a satiety peptide called cholecystokinin (CCK) is released in the gut, creating the feeling of fullness. When human study subjects were injected with CCK, they were seen to consume 25 percent less food.

Although this was seen as a major breakthrough for weight loss at the time, since it involves an injection it is not appropriate for consumer products.

Portman said that PacificHelath, a nutraceutical technology developer, started investigations ten years ago into ways in which CCK could be stimulated.

Humans tend to feel more full after eating a meal rich in protein and fat - but such meals also tend have a high calorific content and would therefore typically be avoided by dieters.

The researchers identified the proteins and fat that have the best ability to stimulate peptides - soy and whey proteins and longer chain fatty acids - and these form the basis of the seven existing patents on the technology, with other patents in the pipeline.

After a raft of studies showing that Satietrim can lead to a significant reduction in calorific intake and allow people to feel full up to three hours after taking it, PacificHealth is now preparing to launch its first products to market: fruit beverages served in 8oz cans, that have less than 50 calories and are intended for consumption before meals.

Initially the beverages will be introduced through direct marketing channels, with a view to follow-up with retail release at a later stage. The company will also be looking for a partner to help it take Satietrim into retail earlier.

It would also consider licensing it as an ingredient, and potentials areas for investigation with a food partner may be its addition to yogurt - a healthy food that is not very satisfying - or diet drinks.

The licensing model has long been core to PacificHealth's strategy as a nutraceutical technology developer, but its recent $4m deal with Cadbury Schwepps to launch its Accelerade sports beverage in a ready-to-drink format has put it on a stronger financial footing to do this.

Portman said that the technology is revolutionary because it is not a stimulant, such as ephedra. Rather, it "works on a novel mechanism, based on how the body naturally controls appetite"​.

He stressed that it is not meant as a cure: "The only way to truly affect obesity is a change in lifestyle, and no product can do that for you."

But he explained that satiety products can help people to stay on a diet once they have already decided to embark on a healthy eating program.

The company is also engaged in ongoing research, and recently announced that it is funding work by Professor David Thompson at the University of Manchester's Hope Hospital, who has developed a sophisticated assay to test the impact of the product on CCK and other satiety peptides.

Part of Thompson's research will center around its potential use to help manage type-2 diabetes, as it may help slow gastric emptying - that is, slow the passing of food through the stomach.

He is also looking into the possible synergistic effect between Satietrim and certain over-the-counter weight loss drugs, such as lipase inhibitors.

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