The exclusive partnership with Blackmores marks Bened’s debut in the ANZ markets, and the two will co-develop the end product formulation containing the PS128 strain.
PS128 is a Lactobacillus plantarum strain which modulates the microbiota-gut-brain axis by increasing the serotonin and dopamine concentration in key brain areas, such as the hippocampus and frontal cortex.
This in turn improves mental wellbeing by reducing symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
It won the Probiotic Product of the Year award during the NutraIngredients-Asia Awards two years ago.
The strain will be incorporated into probiotic products under the Blackmores brands, including the practitioner-only brand BioCeuticals – which will be the first in the group to launch PS128 products, Alain Delpy, the head of international business development at Bened told NutraIngredients-Asia.
The cooperation was conceived during a meeting organised by the office of Austrade in Taipei.
Delpy added that the probiotic strains made in Europe, would be sent to Australia for the manufacturing of the final product in a third-party factory.
“We are very happy to cooperate with Blackmores because it is a very big health and nutrition company in APAC.
“PS128 is already very successful in Europe, we are present in more than 10 countries, such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy,” he said, revealing that the continent is the firm’s largest market.
Some of Bened’s commercial partners in the region include UK firm OptiBiotix and the Neuraxpharm Group from Germany.
Elsewhere in Asia, Delpy said the company was predominantly present in Taiwan, followed by South East Asia countries Malaysia and Singapore.
He revealed that the company was planning to enter the Philippines and was already at the phase of product registration. The process is expected to complete by April.
The company has recently completed a clinical trial using PS128 on Asian Parkinson patients, with results due for publication in a few months’ time.
Another trial on PS128’s stress reliving effects is still in progress, Delpy said, adding that the company largely conducts its trials in Asia.
One of its previous trials involving 80 autistic children aged seven to 15 showed that the daily intake of PS128 had improved social communication, interaction deficits, as well as anxiety, defiance, and hyperactivity.
The company has developed a second proprietary probiotic strain – PS23 which also has anti-anxiety effects.