Provexis Limited was founded in 1999 to commercialise the Fruitflow® anti-thrombotic technology discovered at the Rowett Research Institute by Professor Asim Duttaroy.
Provexis plc was listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2005 with the stock symbol PXS.
Fruitflow® is a patented natural extract from tomatoes which has been shown in human trials to reduce the propensity for aberrant blood clotting, typically associated with cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. The extract is available in two formats, a syrup and a spray-dried powder and can be included in a broad range of food, beverage and dietary supplement formats.
In May 2009, the company’s Fruitflow® technology was the first to be substantiated by the European Food Safety Authority (‘EFSA’) under the new Article 13(5) for proprietary and emerging science. In December 2009 the European Commission authorised the health claim ‘Helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow’, which was the first wording to be authorised under Article 13(5).
In June 2010 it was announced that the company had entered into a long-term Alliance Agreement with DSM Nutritional Products to commercialise Fruitflow®, through sales as an ingredient to brand owners in the food, beverage and dietary supplement categories. The Alliance is seeing the partners collaborate to develop Fruitflow® in all major global markets, through an effective commercialisation of current formats and pioneering new and significant applications. DSM is responsible for: manufacturing; marketing; and selling via its substantial sales force. Provexis is responsible for contributing scientific expertise necessary for successful commercialisation, and for maintaining and strengthening the breadth and duration of its patent and trade mark coverage for Fruitflow®, seeking to maximise the commercial returns that can be achieved from the technology. Profits from the Alliance are being shared by the parties on an agreed basis, linked to various performance milestones. In June 2015 the Company confirmed that it had agreed significantly enhanced financial terms with DSM for the Company’s Alliance Agreement for Fruitflow®.
Fruitflow® was launched in Europe in November 2010 at the Health Ingredients Europe Conference in Madrid, where it was awarded the overall award for ‘Most Innovative Health Ingredient’ and won the best innovation in the ‘Heart Health’ category. The US trade launch was at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim in March 2011. In 2012 Fruitflow® was named one of the most innovative products of the year at the Food Ingredients South America trade show.
Fruitflow® in powder format was officially launched by DSM at the Vitafoods exhibition in Geneva in May 2013. The powder version is suitable for use in a wide range of products including soft gels, capsules, tablets and stick packs, enabling manufacturers to target a broader consumer base.
In June 2016 Provexis launched a high quality dietary supplement product containing Fruitflow® and Omega-3 which is being sold initially from a separate, dedicated website www.fruitflowplus.com on a mail order basis. The new dietary supplement product is expected to provide the Company with an additional income and profit stream.
Fruitflow® and Omega-3 have separate, positive EFSA health claims and the packaging for the product reflects these strongly.
The Company conducted a Key Opinion Leaders’ roundtable event for Fruitflow® in London in September 2016, focussed on raising awareness of the importance of blood flow in cardiovascular health, and the effectiveness of dietary antiplatelets. The roundtable was attended by key scientists from Provexis and DSM, along with a number of interested health care professionals with close links to the media. The event was recorded and a video for Fruitflow® + Omega-3 capsules targeting prospective consumers can be seen here Fruitflow®+ Omega-3: See what the experts think
The Company and DSM are keen to secure greater medical advocacy for Fruitflow® and the roundtable event forms part of this strategy.
The roundtable event is being supported by a broader consumer PR campaign, and the Company’s Fruitflow® + Omega-3 dietary supplement product has featured in a number of recent articles in the UK national press which can be seen here Fruitflow® in the Media
The Company has been engaged in a two stage collaboration agreement with the University of Oslo to undertake further research into the relationship between Fruitflow® and blood pressure regulation. In December 2016 the Company announced the results from the second stage of the collaboration, a pilot study which indicated that a standard dose of Fruitflow® in powder format significantly lowered average 24-hour systolic blood pressure compared to placebo. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were shown to be significantly lower whilst trial subjects were awake, a clinically relevant reduction in blood pressure which is expected to be of interest to a large number of consumers and patients with a wide range of cardiovascular conditions. In September 2017 the results from the blood pressure collaboration were published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
In April 2017 the Company announced that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with BY-HEALTH Co., Ltd (‘BY-HEALTH’) which is intended to result in a research and collaboration agreement with BY-HEALTH for Fruitflow®. The Company also confirmed separately that Provexis and DSM are working with BY-HEALTH to support the planned launch of some Fruitflow® based products in the Chinese market. BY-HEALTH is a substantial Chinese listed dietary supplement business.
In December 2017 the Company announced the filing of a patent application relating to the use of Fruitflow® in protecting against the adverse effects of air pollution on the body’s cardiovascular system.
Recent laboratory work has shown that Fruitflow® can reduce the platelet activation caused by airborne particulate matter, such as that from diesel emissions, by approximately one third. The beneficial effects of this reduction can be observed in laboratory models representing healthy subjects as well as in models representing subjects with an underlying cardiovascular problem.
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2012 around 1 in 9 deaths were attributed to exposure to air pollution, making it the largest environmental risk factor for ill health, with 92% of the world’s population living in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits.
The air pollution patent filing means that DSM and the Company can use this research now to assist with discussions with current and potential customers. The Company expects that this patent application will have a strongly beneficial effect on the current and future commercial prospects for Fruitflow worldwide.
Specialising in functional food and dietary supplements, Provexis has a clear commercial focus to deliver viable products and high quality scientific intellectual property from the laboratory through to revenue stream.