The company, which has over 50 years’ experience in animal nutrition and a portfolio of more than 70 products, has set up a Human Nutrition Division to develop ingredients and technologies that can be directly utilized in supplements, beverages and foods.
Novus said it is working on ingredients for a number of health categories, including digestive health, immunity, bone and joint health, and weight management. However, these are still more than a year away from market as the firm sets up its manufacturing operations and ensures regulatory compliance.
The firm believes its experience in animal formulations will make the crossover an easy one.
“We have core competencies around nutritional-based solutions and vast resources in R&D, biology and chemistry,” said Jeremy Moore, Director, Marketing and Strategic Development at the new division.
“A lot of the issues we deal with are shared with humans, such as bone strength and muscle mass, and we believe we have solutions which have direct applications in humans."
“We believe we can bring our skills closer to the end consumer who has, after all, been consuming our products via animals for years,” he added.
An initial technological project sees the company entering a technology partnership with nutritional ingredient manufacturer ESM Technologies to help advance ESM’s Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM), a joint health ingredient.
"We also plan to evaluate opportunities to build on the NEM intellectual property for the development of new ingredients," said Moore.
The two companies have previously teamed up to produce Steadfast, a product for horses and dogs containing NEM and made by Arenus, a division of Novus Nutrition Brands.
Novus is also in negotiations with a number of other potential partners, Moore said.
Meeting regulatory requirements
Novus will initially focus on ingredients for supplements, but will move into food by the end of next calendar year. “Novus has technologies to bring over from the animal side to food and beverages, but on a longer time line,” Moore said.
“In biological applications we’re ahead of the game but in terms of manufacturing and compliance with regulations we are very much starting from scratch and are we are about 18 months away from market.”
Novus is also involved in a new Vitamin Angels program which aims to help reduce severe diarrhea in African children via dietary supplementation with zinc.
The group has offices in over 20 countries worldwide and employs over 350 people, of whom around 40 are nutritionists at Ph.D. and Masters level.
The Human Nutrition Division, which will be formally launched later in the year, will operate under a different name from the rest of Novus International and will develop products for the European market as well as the US.