UNPA and Radicle Science launch clinical trial partnership

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / suedhang
Getty Images / suedhang

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The collaboration aims to level the playing field between supplements and pharmaceuticals by giving UNPA members access to groundbreaking clinical trials on supplements.

United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) and Radicle Science just announced a partnership that is intended to offer an easy path for dietary supplement products to clinically prove efficacy beyond placebo while giving UNPA members priority access to join in Radicle’s clinical trials as participants. 

Radicle recently debuted its Radicle Proof Engine​ at SupplySide West. As a proof-as-a-service company, Radicle combines rigorous clinical science and deep tech to provide objective health outcome data on natural health products. Because UNPA is on a mission to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives, the collaboration was a natural fit. Together the pair will work to prove the effectiveness of natural products while highlighting the power of large-scale clinical data.   

The proof gap

With clinical proof often lacking, many natural health products and dietary supplements are missing out on opportunities. Radicle is working to shrink this proof gap by making clinical trials more affordable.

About 80% of Americans use dietary supplements, while 66% take prescriptions. Despite this, Americans still end up spending 10 times more on pharmaceuticals than dietary supplements. 

Dr. Jeff Chen, MD, co-founder and CEO of Radicle Science, said he believes every natural product should have the right to compete on real merit, win in the marketplace and, to that end, have easy access to a clinical trial. 

“For far too long, only patented pharmaceuticals could afford clinical trials, traditionally costing millions and taking years,” ​said Chen. “We’ve democratized access to clinical trials to close the proof gap between natural supplements and pharmaceuticals. As the UNPA has played such a monumental role in the legislative history of supplements, it’s fitting that UNPA members will help make history by personally participating in our unprecedented clinical trials.”  

Priority access 

Radicle Science combines a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial design with an AI-driven, crowdsourced, virtual, direct-to-consumer approach to deliver rigorous health outcome data that offers affordability and speed.   

“Our tech-enabled virtual D2C approach makes participation in rigorous clinical trials accessible to any individual living anywhere in the US,” ​said Pelin Thorogood​, co-founder and executive chair of Radicle Science. Thorogood added that given the monumental role in the legislative history of supplements UNPA has played, she is excited that UNPA members can personally experience how they can collectively transform the industry with clinical proof.

“As part of this first of its kind partnership, starting immediately, UNPA members are given priority invitations to participate in Radicle Science’s groundbreaking clinical trials launching throughout Q1 to study the effects of various natural products on anxiety, stress, sleep, pain, and overall health.  Our tech-enabled virtual D2C approach makes participation in rigorous clinical trials easy and accessible to any individual living anywhere in the U.S.  We mail them quality tested, free health products, give them intuitive tools to track their usage and outcomes from the comfort of their home. And, at the end of each Radicle study we do something that traditional trials rarely do: we unblind our volunteers and provide them with personalized health reports so they can understand their product usage and the outcomes on their unique body.  The large scale of the studies and diversity of the populations make our findings personalized and relevant for the population at large,"​ explained Thorogood.

First up, UNPA members will be invited to join Radicle Science’s clinical trials slated to launch sometime this quarter. The trials will examine the effects of natural products that support anxiety, stress, sleep, pain and overall health.

Radicle approach 

Loren Israelsen​, president of the UNPA, told NutraIngredients-USA​ that the trade is excited to provide the supplement industry with easily accessible clinical trials for the first time in history.

“UNPA has spent 30 + years working to protect access to and knowledge about the benefits of dietary supplements.  But how can our industry conduct research to support product claims and advance consumer confidence and results from supplement use?  When we met the team at Radicle Science, we saw a new and game changing approach to demonstrate clinical proof ( beyond placebo ) for our class of products.  After our first meeting with Pelin Thorogood and Jeff Chen MD, we knew the Radicle Science concept was what we were looking for,” ​said Israelsen. “We have big ideas and developing plans on how to introduce our industry to the Radicle Science clinical trial methodology, which is both affordable and rapid.  This is radical — and that is just what is needed.”

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