Unigen expands US joint health patent network

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Joint health

Unigen Pharmaceuticals has received a third US patent for its joint health ingredient, which covers the use of bioflavonoid extracts from Scutellaria and Acacia.

The research and development firm’s Univestin product is a blend of flavans from Acacia catechu and flavonoids from Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria Baicalensis). The ingredient is currently used in a number of leading joint health supplements sold in the US, said Unigen.

The new patent (7,514,469) covers compositions that comprise an extract derived from Scutellaria enriched for free-b-ring flavonoids, combined with an extract derived from Acacia enriched for flavans.

Extract screening

According to Unigen, the compositions were discovered by screening its proprietary Phytologix collection of medicinal plant extracts to identify natural substances that inhibit the pro-inflammation enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX 1 and COX 2) and 5’-lipoxygenase (LOX).

The claims associated with the newly issued patent also cover formulations of bioflavonoid extracts from Scutellaria and Acacia in combination with other well-known joint care ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin D, and calcium, said the firm.

“The synergistic effects of the distinct bioflavonoid mixture derived from two well-known medicinal plants are truly remarkable,” ​said the firm’s​chief science officer and the patent’s lead inventor Dr.Qi Jia.

We utilized extensive in vitro and in vivo testing to demonstrate that Univestin provides rapid and long lasting relief of both joint discomfort and impaired physical function through modulating the COX and LOX pathways as well as the pro-inflammatory cytokine system.”

Patent network

Unigen already holds use patents for both acacia catechu and the flavonoids from Chinese Skullcap for joint health and osteoarthritis.

The company was awarded the patent for the use of free-b-ring flavonoids from Chinese Skullcap in January 2007, while it already held the use patent on the acacia species flavans for joint health - as well as patents covering the flavans' use as a to modulate COX/LOX mediated inflammatory conditions.

Joint health

The US market for joint health supplements was valued at $174m in 2007 by market researcher Packaged Facts, placing the category as one of the top condition-specific supplement groups.

Nutritional Supplements in the US​ estimates the overall nutritional supplement market was worth $6.1bn in 2007, up 7.5 percent from 2006. From 2003 to 2007, the market grew a total of 17.3 percent, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent.

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