It is estimated about 80 million Europeans suffer from allergies such as asthma and skin reactions. Milsing has established licensing deals that will see its ingredient incorporated into a supplement called Reactyl in Italy as well as a dietetic food in Austria after successfully introducing the ingredient to the Croatian, Bosnia and Herzogovinan and Serbian markets in 2007. Since its debut in Croatia in April, 40,000 units of the patent-pending ingredient have been sold in all markets. Milsing is about to debut the ingredient in Taiwan where another distribution deal has been inked. Mintel found more than 1300 products with allergenic claims were launched across Europe in the past year with another 1500+ in the gluten-free category. Patent-pending Lectranal is derived from the Astragalus membranaceus plant that has been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) for centuries to relieve ailments such as allergic rhinitis, skin allergy conditions as well as boost the immune system. Studies and claims Milsing deputy director, Zlatko Buzina, told NutraIngredients.com the publication of a clinical study backing Lectranal's efficaciousness had prompted the company to seek new markets buoyed by the fact it was "overachieving" in its home makrets. He said a study at a Croatian hospital was ongoing and further research was planned. Health claims being employed by Lectranal included:
relieves allergy symptoms (Croatia)
strengthens physiological defense against ambient and external factors (Italy)
supports immune system during allergy season (Austria)
Buzina said Milsing was targeting Lectranal at health professionals. "Though it cannot be prescribed as a pharmaceutical, it can be recommended by physicians and we are targeting health professionals for this reason." He added: "With clinical trials completed we are focusing both on health care professionals and consumers. In March we are organising a symposium to analyse clinical trial results. For that purpose we engaged leading authorities in allergology (the study of hypersensitivity) in Croatia. Beyond this we plan to participate at specialist congresses presenting the clinical trial results, as well as participate at major industry fairs in Geneva and Paris this year." Supplements containing Lectranal retail at between €11 and €25, he said. In Italy, Lectranal is exclusively distributed by Sochim, which has a number of herbal ingredients in its portfolio and has placed the ingredient in a supplement called Pharmasuisse. Sochim's scientific director Barbara Pachetti said the product would be marketed as "natural allergy-relief". In Austria, it will be sold as a "Dietetische lebensmittel" (dietary foodstuff) in pharmacies as "a food for special, medical purposes, in this case an allergy," said Buzina. Although the causes are uncertain, allergy incidence is on the rise in the western world. "Overall, there is very little doubt that we have seen significant increases," Syed Hasan Arshad of the UK-based David Hide Asthma and Allergy Centre told The Washington Post recently. "You can call it an epidemic. We're talking about millions of people and huge implications, both for health costs and quality of life."