A number of years ago under the leadership of former CEO (now chairman) Frank Jaksch, ChromaDex licensed the technology to produced Tru Niagen, which is a branded, patented form of nicotinamide riboside. The ingredient has been researched for its effect of increasing levels of NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) in the body which in turn stimulates energy production in the cell and facilitates cellular repair.
Solid regulatory, scientific underpinning
Over the years ChromaDex has filed two New Dietary Ingredient Notifications on Tru Niagen (originally branded as just Niagen) as well as achieving GRAS status on the substance. Both certifications are important in attracting the attention of major CPG players like Nestlé.
The company also expanded the ingredient’s regulatory underpinning with a successful Novel Food application in the EU for use of Tru Niagen in anti aging applications. Tru Niagen was also the winner in the anti aging category in the most recent NutraIngredients-USA annual awards, which is judged both on scientific substantiation and market relevance.
ChromaDex points to more than 170 research collaborations the company has entered into on the ingredient, including such institutions as Dartmouth College, the University of Iowa, the National Institutes of Health and Scripps Research Institute.
ChromaDex concluded a partnership with Nestlé in late 2018 on Tru Niagen. Nestlé agreed to pay $4 million for exclusive rights to Tru Niagen in medical food products, and certain rights to the ingredient consumer health care products. The announcement this week of the Persona launch (Nestlé acquired Persona in August 2019) builds on that agreement, said ChromaDex CEO Rob Fried.
“Over the time of our partnership with Nestlé they have pursued many ideas and this was one we were willing to do,” Fried told NutraIngredients-USA.
Persona as good steward
The new product is a standalone Tru Niagen capsule supplement, Fried said. Persona is a personalized nutrition program that provides an online health assessment, a doctor-recommended vitamin routine, and monthly home delivery service. Fried said Persona’s track record demonstrates that it will be a good steward of ChromaDex’s intellectual property.
“We feel Persona does a very good job on their user experience. We like the ingredients they have selected for their other products,” he said.
The new product features 300 mg of nicotinamide riboside alone, which is the clinically studied dosage. The ingredient can be challenging to work with, Fried admitted, as it is not stable in the presence of water. Combining it with other ingredients of greater hydroscopicity could lessen its effectiveness.
Fried did say a capsule-within-a-capsule type of product might be a possible future delivery mode for combing NR with other ingredients. At the moment, though, he said offering a Tru Niagen capsule along with other supplements as Persona does seems to the best approach for marketing the ingredient.