Pharmavite partners with Brightseed for AI-powered novel phytonutrient discovery

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: AI, Artificial intelligence, phytonutrients, Sleep, Dietary supplements

The partnership aims to identify phytonutrients that are currently undiscovered in the plant kingdom, with sleep the initial target for Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made brand of supplements.

Using the Brightseed’s Forager AI platform, the partnership will target select human biological pathways and identify new active natural compounds that are scientifically validated through biomedical processes. 

Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA via video, Tobe Cohen, Chief Growth Officer, Pharmavite, said: “Our interest preliminarily is to start with a better understanding around sleep end-points and complements our existing programs extremely well.

“From there, we’ll see where the relationship goes. I think there’s a lot of different, exciting spaces that we can explore. But really starting with a better understanding of if there are things we can look at to further our platform around sleep, and how we think about delivering better solutions to consumers to help with their sleep needs,” ​he added.

‘Identifying the best sources that are both economical and have a supply chain’

Dr. Jim Flatt, co-founder and CEO, Brightseed, called the partnership a “category shift that delivers on consumer needs for natural, plant-based solutions that really work”.

“We’ve evolved around a predominantly plant-based diet for a reason,” ​explained Dr Flatt. “One of the main reasons plants are so healthy for us is the presence of these small molecules, called phytochemicals.

“As we’ve evolved around them, some of these phytochemicals have important health benefits, and these are what we call the phytonutrients.

“It’s really amazing to think that only 1% of these compounds have been characterized… so if we can map the other 99% of these compounds, there’s a lot more gold in them hills.

Dr Flatt explained that Brightseed has designed its Forager platform to do three things: “To gain a much deeper understanding of the compounds, what’s called the dark matter of nutrition: these 99% of compounds that have yet to be characterized. With that, we’re able to create a much broader library of compounds from which to make discoveries,” ​he said. “We have a digital model of human health to make predictions, and this is where a lot of the artificial intelligence comes in to be able to make increasingly accurate predictions about the functions and benefits of these small molecules, these phytonutrients.

“And once we’d identified and validated good leads, we’re then able to identify the best sources in the plant kingdom that are both economical and have a supply chain.”

Cohen added: “This new partnership with Brightseed combines the power of AI with our deep scientific expertise and has the potential to be one of the most exciting research relationships in the vitamins and supplements space.

Pharmavite has previously partnered with other AI platforms, such as Ireland’s Nuritas for the discovery of bioactive peptides​, but the partnership with Brightseed around phytonutrients is said to be a first.

“This is absolutely a first,”​ said Dr Flatt. “That’s one thing that we really respected about Pharmavite. There’s an opportunity to extend their leadership in the much more rapid development of health beneficial ingredients in supplements that are even more needed at this point in time.”

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