Applications and description of markets
A. Functional foods
The functional food market for cholesterol reducing products, such as Benecol™ and Becel Proactive™ alone (so excluding the food supplements market) was one billion dollar in 2003 and has tripled in 2008. In addition, the need for non prescription (over the counter) cholesterol reducing products, such as probiotics , is growing each year.
In 2008 the world market for anti cholesterol drugs was worth over 25 billion dollar, making the anti cholesterol drugs the most financially attractive therapeutic area in the world. This therapeutic area can be divided into five main drug areas:
• Cholesterol Intestinal Absorption Inhibitors
• Fibric Acids
• Nicotinic Acids
• Bile Acid Sequestors
The statin class dominates the market taking in 2008 over 90% of the market, worth an estimated $22 billion.
C. Animal Feed
On average 50 % of all foods consumed by humans is of animal origin. This includes milk, cheese, meat, eggs, butters, fats but also a vary large variety of derivatives such as pastry, cakes and mayonnaise. Adding ezCol to animal feed will result in human consumable products of animal origin that are low in cholesterol.
Other Background on Cholesterol
There is a need to reduce prescription drug expenditures, and one of the ways to accomplish this is to allocate more costs to consumers by increasing the number of switches from prescription medications to nonprescription over-the-counter (OTC). The United Kingdom is the first country to allow OTC sale of a cholesterol-lowering agent, and other countries, including the United States, are watching closely. The ezCol technology is very suitable for use in non prescription OTC nutraceuticals and foodstuffs.
Existing cholesterol lowering agents contain phytosterols as their effective agent. There is an increasing amount of caution towards side-effects caused by phytosterols. This skepticism centers around suspected accumulation of the agent in brain tissue, reduced vitamin intake and increased risk of heart related diseases. Tests on rats have fed suspicions of unsafety for certain groups. Health Canada issued an advisory warning that Becel Pro-activ™ has not been approved for sale in Canada and may pose health risks to pregnant women, children, people on cholesterol-lowering medications and those predisposed to hemorrhagic strokes. Phytosterols are derived from plants.
The development of a new cholesterol-lowering product that is more effective, less expensive and without negative connotations attached to existing products such as phytosterols, has significant potential. ezCol could offer all of these benefits.