Nestlé partners with Amazentis to explore pomegranate metabolite’s anti-aging potential

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / KVLADIMIRV
© Getty Images / KVLADIMIRV
Nestlé Health Science will take an equity stake in Swiss life science company Amazentis and receive global rights to use Amazentis’ Urolithin A technology for dietary supplements, foods, beverages, and medical nutrition products.

Urolithin A is a compound generated by gut microflora from ellagitannins found in food such as pomegranate. The compounds are hydrolyzed in the stomach into ellagic acid, which is subsequently converted by the gut microflora into urolithin A. However, not everyone has the right microflora to be able to make the metabolite.

As reported previously by NutraIngredients-USA,​  Amazentis​ has developed a method to deliver finely calibrated doses of urolithin A. Preliminary data published in Nature Medicine​ indicated that urolithin A may improve mitochondrial function by stimulating mitophagy, a process by which damaged mitochondria are recycled to permit a renewal with healthy mitochondria. These beneficial effects were observed in C. elegans​, mammalian cells and rodents.

This was followed up by human data from a Phase 1 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in healthy elderly individuals that were presented at the 2017 International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research (ICFSR) in Barcelona, Spain.

The data supported the safety of Urolithin A and indicated that the compound upregulated mitochondrial gene expression in elderly skeletal muscle tissue and decreased plasma acylcarnitine metabolites, which has been linked to skeletal muscle insulin resistance and lipid-induced mitochondrial stress.

Two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trials are being conducted to quantify the impact of Urolithin A on muscle health and function as well as other parameters.

Urolithin A also a letter of no objection from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status (see HERE​).

Cellular aging

“We're excited to be partnering with Nestlé Health Science as they truly see the future of nutrition and share our vision of developing a new generation of clinically validated nutrients to counteract cellular aging,”​ said Chris Rinsch, PhD, Co-founder and CEO Amazentis.

“Urolithin A is the only clinically tested natural bioactive shown to improve mitochondrial health by activating the selective recycling of damaged mitochondria. This partnership will enable us to make this breakthrough more widely available and will support consumers in the proactive management of their cellular health.”

According to the terms of the partnership, Amazentis retains co-exclusive rights for the online distribution of dietary supplements and select food products as well as global exclusive rights for distribution of certain other defined categories.

Amazentis and Nestlé Health Science will also conduct a joint research program to expand applications of Urolithin A into new consumer health and medical benefit areas.

Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, stated: “Advancing cellular nutrition is a key component of our strategy to bring new benefits to consumers and patients. Amazentis’ impressive science in the field of mitochondrial health opens significant new opportunities for us, and we are thrilled to partner with their capable team.

“Our global strategic partnership will include a significant investment to support further research and development of Urolithin A.”

Mitochondria © Getty Images wir0man
The function of mitochondria declines with age, while aging is a known risk factor for a number of common age-related and neurodegenerative disorders. This led to the proposition that secondary mitochondrial dysfunction may lead to degenerative diseases. Image © Getty Images / wir0man

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