April 17, 2014, 7:31 a.m. EDT
Alcresta Announces Agreement with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics to Develop Point-of-Care Nutritional Products
Agreement Highlights Importance of Medical Nutrition in Managing Cystic Fibrosis
NEWTON, Mass., Apr 17, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Alcresta®, a leading medical nutrition company developing innovative enzyme-based products for individuals with unique nutritional needs battling acute conditions or chronic diseases, today announced the company has signed an agreement with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (CFFT) to accelerate the development of Alcresta’s enzyme-based point-of-care products to support the nutritional status of people with cystic fibrosis (CF). CFFT is the nonprofit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
More than 90 percent of people with CF have a compromised pancreas and need enzyme-based nutritional products to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. To address these challenges, people with compromised pancreatic or gastrointestinal function, including people with CF, consume nutritional drinks and use tube feedings to supplement their diet. This agreement allows Alcresta to accelerate the development of its nutrition technology and advance point-of-care products designed to address the specific needs of the CF population and others with unique nutritional needs by improving absorption of beneficial fatty acids and aiding in overall caloric intake.
According to the CF Foundation’s patient data report, a relationship has been established in CF between good health outcomes and patients’ nutritional levels, reinforcing the need for individuals to maintain adequate weight gain (BMI). Specifically, malabsorption of fats may contribute to the inflammatory characteristics of CF, and negatively affect a person’s ability to maintain or gain weight.
“This agreement continues to validate Alcresta’s technology and will allow us to speed up the development of our point-of-care portfolio of products that we believe will improve the overall well-being of people with CF and others with specific nutritional needs,” said Robert Gallotto, co-founder and president of Alcresta. “We believe science-based nutrition can lead to improved care, and we look forward to working with the CF Foundation to help make a meaningful difference for people in need of improved nutrition.”
Alcresta’s lead program is an enzyme-based point-of-care product focused on improving the digestion and enabling proper absorption of fats, including critically important “good fats” – in particular omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The initial product offering is designed to mimic the function of pancreatic lipase by pre-hydrolyzing fats in liquid nutritional products and tube feeding formulas to fatty acids and mono-glycerides prior to consumption in individuals who require special nutritional care where there is a known relationship between proper nutrition, caloric intake and weight maintenance.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. We are a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. Our focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF, and ultimately to find a cure. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. For more information, visit http://www.cff.org .
Alcresta is a leading medical nutrition company developing and commercializing innovative enzyme-based point-of-care products to improve the digestion and absorption of key nutrients to support growth, development and nutrition in people battling acute conditions or chronic diseases. The demand for high-value nutritional products is increasing, driving the growth of a $40 billion global market. While there have been important recent advances in nutritional drinks and products, there remains a significant need for enzyme-based nutritional products that support healthier living, maximize nutrient and caloric absorption, and complement conventional medical care. Leveraging its existing proprietary platform of point-of-care nutritional products, Alcresta has developed a lead product designed to improve the digestion and absorption of fats, in particular long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 (including DHA, EPA). The importance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 is well documented across the full spectrum of patient care from infants to adults and individuals battling acute conditions or chronic diseases. The company’s platform is supported by the Alcresta team’s extensive experience in pharmaceutical and nutritional product development. Based in Newton, Mass., the company is backed by top-tier venture investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit http://www.alcresta.com .