IRVINE, Calif.ChromaDex Corp., a natural products company that provides proprietary ingredients and science-based solutions to the dietary supplement, food and beverage, animal health, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, announced it has licensed exclusive rights from Dartmouth College for several patents related to pharmaceutical use of nicotinamide riboside (NR). The new licensed patents include protection for human therapeutic uses of NR and build upon the patents licensed from Dartmouth in 2012 for other human uses and production methods of NR. The license covers U.S. Patent numbers 8,197,807; 8,114,626; and 8,383,086, which were filed by Dartmouth as a result of research sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
In 2004, Charles Brenner, Ph.D., then a faculty member at Dartmouth College, discovered NR to be a vitamin precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) found in milk, which is made available by nicotinamide riboside kinases (Nrks) that are conserved between yeast and humans. In 2007, Dr. Brenner's lab discovered a second pathway by which NR is converted to NAD+ and showed that NR can extend the lifespan of yeast cells by virtue of elevating NAD+ levels and increasing the activity of the NAD+ dependent Sir2 enzyme. In the past decade, Dr. Brenner has made multiple, seminal contributions to NAD+ metabolism, which included engineering a yeast strain to convert inexpensive NAD+ precursor vitamins into NR, identifying a high affinity NR transporter, solving the crystal structure of human Nrk1, and developing the methods for quantitative NAD+ metabolomics. Dr. Brenner's gene discoveries and characterization of the NAD+ metabolome have shed light on distinct pathways by which human cells utilize distinct NAD+ precursor vitamins. His lab continues to focus on characterizing the molecular mechanisms underlying NAD+ precursors and their impact on human health. Groups worldwide have added to Dr. Brenner's discoveries in providing evidence for unique properties of NR in neuroprotection, sirtuin activation, protection against weight gain on a high fat diet, and improvement of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.
"NR has great potential both as a nutritional supplement as well as a therapeutic product for specific diseases and conditions. While more research is needed to develop NR as a potentially safe and effective human therapeutic, this developmental path would not be possible without good licensing partners. We are very pleased that ChromaDex has made development of NR a priority," said Dr. Brenner, now the Roy J. Carver Chair and Head of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa and Founding Co-Director of the University of Iowa Obesity Initiative.
Researchers continue to discover health benefits linked to NR, including: increasing mitochondrial health, increasing muscle endurance, neuroprotection, sirtuin activation, protection against weight gain on high fat diet, protection against oxidative stress, improvement of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.
"The acquisition of these additional Dartmouth patent rights allows for ChromaDex to commercialize NR as a drug. Together with our existing patent portfolio pertaining to NR, we believe our ownership of these new patent rights creates a significant and meaningful barrier to entry for would-be competitors in the entire NAD+ precursor market," said Frank Jaksch, CEO and founder of ChromaDex.