The move follows recent investments from industry giants Abbott Nutrition and Nestlé Health Science in diet and cognition, an underdeveloped area of the nutritional supplements and functional food industry believed to have significant growth potential - provided firms can back claims with credible science.
A major area of unmet need in patients in the US
The JV will create a new line of supplements addressing a range of conditions from depression, anxiety, attention disorders and chronic stress to memory challenges, Thorne Research chief executive Paul Jacobson told NutarIngredients-USA.
"The first supplements - around half a dozen - should launch in the fall, but we will be following that with medical foods. We're looking at new ingredients and new combinations of ingredients."
The partners will also develop new games and exercises to keep the brain active and educate clinicians about cognitive health supplements and brain performance improvement techniques, said Jacobson.
“Thorne Research is proud to expand our nutritional supplement portfolio in the area of cognitive health, which represents a major area of unmet need in patients in the US.
“Working closely with Dr. Amen and the team at IHR, we plan to develop an unmatched range of outstanding products and support resources designed to improve brain performance.”
He added: "Dr Amen is a medical doctor with a long history of treating patients with natural products as well as pharmaceuticals."
Advanced diagnostic tools
Dr. Amen is a specialist in psychiatric medicine and founder of the Amen Clinics and has pioneered the use of advanced diagnostic tools such as SPECT imaging to more accurately characterize neurological disorders and identify new types of mental conditions, added Jacobson.
He has also led research efforts that demonstrate the effectiveness of dietary interventions in treating mental conditions.
Indianapolis-based consultancy IHR is a leader in preventative health and wellness and developer of a variety of health tracking tools that help individuals who suffer from neurological or behavioral disorders to accurately monitor their health. It also provides raw material sourcing and business services for the development of new dietary supplements.
Thorne, which recently announced a tie up with botanicals specialist Indena to develop new products targeting people living with cancer, is also working on novel products targeting people with diabetes and weight problems.
It has also created a partnership with Swiss pharma company the Helsinn Group to develop dietary supplements and nutritional advice specifically targeting people living with cancer.
With facilities in Idaho and Connecticut, Thorne Research specializes in developing dietary supplements for the direct-to-practitioner market.