"Joining forces with Evolve BioSystems allows RB's infant formula business (Mead Johnson Nutrition) to strengthen its expertise in the science of the infant gut microbiome, and offer hospitals the only infant probiotic clinically shown to reduce potential gut pathogens in infants consuming breast milk," said Pat Sly, VP and General Manager, RB.
Tim Brown, CEO of Evolve, added: “In combination with RB/Mead Johnson's deep and long-established relationships with hospitals and consumers across the country, we are confident that Evivo will now be able to help more babies get the best start in life."
Evolve is a spinoff from the Foods for Health Institute at the University of California, Davis. The company’s products are based on a decade of research into the developing infant microbiome and its relationship with the natural nutrients in human breast milk.
The research focuses on Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) EVC001, which is passed from mother to baby during vaginal birth through fecal/oral transfer (mom's poop during birth), explaining why babies delivered via c-section are not exposed.
Meanwhile, breastmilk contains human milk oligosaccharides (prebiotics) that provide food for the B. infantis in the baby’s gut and help it flourish, explaining why the gut microbiome of formula-fed babies are also less likely to contain B. infantis.
The probiotic reduces gut pH, thereby helping suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the infant gut. The ingredient is designated a Food for Special Dietary Use and is specially designed for use in hospitals, due to its exceptional quality of manufacturing and liquid format.
Evivo is also available as a consumer product in a single-use powder format for easy feeding to infants at home.
The new partnership with RB will leverage assets and expertise from both companies to drive messaging directly to consumers and health care practitioners nationwide, said the companies in a press release.
RB’s infant formula business has flagship brands like Enfamil and Nutramigen.
Witnessing the benefits first-hand
"We have now seen first-hand the benefits of using Evivo in our patients over the past year and a half," said neonatologist Brian Scottoline, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
"This partnership will allow significantly more infants across the country to have access to this product and the potential for improved health outcomes."