New Developments, Philanthropy, Milestones Keep Companies Busy

Aside from the daily requirements of business, companies have been focused on new hires, branch offices, milestone anniversaries, cause awareness, staff honors, patents, certifications and recognitions.

February 24, 2016

10 Min Read
New Developments, Philanthropy, Milestones Keep Companies Busy

Aside from the daily requirements of business, companies have been focused on new hires, branch offices, milestone anniversaries, cause awareness, staff honors, patents, certifications and recognitions.

Cause Awareness

NeoCell wrapped up its fall campaign to raise money for Vitamin Angels with a $60,000 donation to the nonprofit charity. Each fall, NeoCell makes a 25-cent donation to Vitamin Angels for each product it ships from October through December. The 5-year partnership has now raised enough money to help more than 1.5 million children.

A simple 25-cent donation is enough for Vitamin Angels to provide critically needed vitamins to a mother or child for an entire year.

The NeoCell campaign isn't just about raising money, but also about raising awareness of the worldwide issue of malnutrition. The company uses special product neck tags that promote Vitamin Angels during the fall campaign and encourages others to donate through its #GivingIsBeautiful hashtag on social media.

"It's remarkable to think that this partnership has been able to have a positive impact on a million and a half mothers and children around the world," said Jessica Mulligan, NeoCell vice president of sales and marketing. "We hope that others join us in supporting Vitamin Angels and the amazing work that the organization does."

Howard Schiffer, president and founder of Vitamin Angels, said, “NeoCell immediately understood the importance of our work. Their dedication and commitment over the past five years has been unwavering. We're honored to be working with them and know that together we will continue to change lives worldwide."

In 2015, Vitamin Angels reached more than 48 million children and mothers in over 50 countries with high dose vitamin A, prenatal vitamins, children's multivitamins or deworming treatments.

Founder Honored

Sabinsa Corp. founder Muhammed Majeed, Ph.D., was honored with the NIB Global Innovation & Excellence Award at a ceremony organized by the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) and the Press Club of India on Feb. 20, 2016. The award was largely in recognition of the intellectual property (IP) portfolio attained by the Sami-Sabinsa Group, now encompassing 110 U.S. and international patents.

“Innovation is a key driver for successful companies," Majeed said in his acceptance speech. “When you establish a dedication to research and innovation as a corporate culture, incredible discoveries can happen, as evidenced by obtaining 15 new patents in recent months."

The recent patents comprised ingredients such as calebinoids, stilbenoids, peptides, 3-hydroxypterostilbene, boswellic acids and garcinol, along with several others in countries ranging from China and New Zealand to the United States, Canada and Mexico. The categories ranged from hypercholesterolemia, weight management, treating skin aging, inhibiting and preventing adipogenesis, protecting articular cartilage and even a hepatoprotectant molecule. Many of these will find a place in Sabinsa’s nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, functional food and natural drug divisions for commercialization and licensing.

In discussing the most recent patents, Majeed noted, “The current R&D [research and development] impetus of the Sami-Sabinsa group focuses strongly on immunological basis of disease management by natural principles. With precise scientific evidence generation at the basic, pre-clinical and clinical research stages, the group believes in creating reliable and responsible science. This objective has been recognized by the intellectual property systems across the globe."

New QA Director

PLT Health Solutions Inc. announced the appointment of Craig Stapleton as the company’s director of quality assurance (QA). Stapleton brings a background in food science and more than 25 years’ experience in food and consumer quality management to PLT, including over a decade in a broad range of quality functions at Unilever/Bestfoods, and similar postings at natural foods and consumer products companies. In his new position, he will lead the implementation and ongoing management of quality programs, policies and strategies that respond to client and industry standards. Stapleton will also be a driver of the company’s recently announced PLT360™ initiative, a business-wide commitment by PLT Health Solutions to drive customer confidence in ingredients that are safe, of high quality, efficacious and harvested and manufactured in a sustainable way. Going beyond traditional quality control (QC) programs, PLT360 examines every aspect of an ingredient to deliver best-in-class solutions. As part of its commitment to participating in an industry-wide dialogue on transparency and quality, PLT Health Solutions was a major sponsor at February’s UNPA Raw Materials & Supply Chain Summit in Salt Lake City.

According to Barbara Davis, vice president, medical & scientific affairs at PLT Health Solutions, the appointment of Stapleton is a part of the company’s drive to incorporate best industry practices in every phase of its business, managed by experienced, top-quality personnel. “We work with some of the best companies in the world, enabling them to develop consumer products and strong brands to support healthy lifestyles. Quality and trust-building are more important than they have ever been in the health and wellness space. At PLT, we continue to focus our efforts in building state-of-the-industry quality systems and to communicating the impact and benefits of these systems to our customers," she said. “Craig Stapleton has a track record of leadership, creativity and success in quality management for food and consumer products—so he understands the needs of our customers."

Prior to joining PLT, Stapleton was global quality assurance manager – hygiene for Reckitt Benckiser’s Lysol and Dettol Brands. Over a decade at Reckitt Benckiser, he served in similar capacities in personal care and food—including French’s Foods North America.

Stapleton graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science from Montclair State University and was awarded an MBA in industrial management from Farleigh Dickinson University. He is a certified hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and Safe Quality Food (SQF) practitioner and is ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt (SQBB) certified. He is a member of the Institute for Food Technologists (IFT), American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Institute of Supply Management (ISM).

New Branch

Beijing Gingko Group (BGG Group) announced the opening of its third affiliate in Switzerland (BGG Europe SA), after already successfully opening branch offices in North America and Japan. Responsible for BGG operations in Europe, the Swiss affiliate will be based in Lugano.

BGG has been supplying major partners in Europe for many years and is already realizing 15 percent of its revenues in Europe. Thanks to the new branch office, the company will be able to better serve its customers’ needs, while providing local technical assistance and innovative solutions.

Christian Artaria, global chief marketing executive of BGG Group, will be responsible for managing the new affiliate. “I am extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to lead the European business of BGG," he said. “My unwavering priorities will be to grow BGG’s business and to use all my experience and energy to help write the next chapter of BGG Group."

Chunhua Li, chairman and founder of BGG Group, added, “We are implementing the global growth strategy of the group, and the opening of the European affiliate will play an important role in our future growth."

Preferred Supplier Recognition

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) recently recognized Ahiflower oil, exclusively available globally through Natures Crops International (NCI), under the NASC Preferred Supplier program. The seal represents an important North American third-party review and qualification for Ahiflower oil’s use in non-nutritive health applications for dogs, cats and horses. According to the NASC website, its Preferred Supplier review process assures “all suppliers of raw materials and other critical components meet comprehensive standards for testing and other specifications to ensure our members can buy from trusted companies."

Ahiflower oil is the first plant-based omega-3 ingredient and the second omega-3 ingredient overall to be reviewed and listed under NASC’s Preferred Supplier program. NASC performs a rigorous review of an ingredient’s purity, potency and identity documentation, and provides NASC affiliates with a centralized online resource for reviewing a Preferred Supplier’s quality-related documentation.

Steve Howatt, NCI’s senior vice president, said, “Having already cleared FDA and EU Novel Foods review, we are pleased that Ahiflower oil also meets NASC review requirements for uses in pet and equine health."

Food Safety Certification

SternMaid America’s food safety management system has been certified according to FSSC 22000, a globally recognized standard for comprehensive food safety management. Awarded Jan. 25, 2016, the certification confirms the contract manufacturer of powdered food ingredients and supplements meets all safety requirements relevant to the production of food.

Well-established in the European market and successfully expanding in America since 2014, the German-headquartered company welcomed the achievement of the new milestone. Jan Thoele, executive vice president at SternMaid America, said, “When it comes to food safety, we do not compromise. We make constant efforts to raise our already high standards of quality and hygiene even further. This certification proves to our customers that SternMaid produces in accordance with internationally recognized quality criteria and operational guidelines."

U.S. Patent

Lipogen Ltd. attained a U.S. patent for its proprietary phospholipid formulation designed to tackle premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The patent was approved for “compositions and methods for alleviating symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)."

More than 200 different symptoms have been associated with PMS, including emotional symptoms such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, emotional sensitivity and/or changes in libido. Physical symptoms can include bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation, lower back pain, acne, breast swelling, muscle pain and others.

“When the benefits of phospholipids on PMS and PMDD came to light through Lipogen’s research, we immediately explored its potential," said David Rutenberg, Lipogen CEO. “Realizing the significance of this discovery, it encouraged us to further explore a product line for women’s health utilizing Lipogen’s proprietary phospholipid ingredients."

The previously unrecognized PMS/PMDD benefit of PS Plus came about when 2,000 volunteers received and consumed Lipogen’s PS Plus for brain health and stress management. At the end of the 2-month study, out of 220 women under the age of 40 who consumed the product regularly, 23 women (10.45 percent) reported they noticed relief of PMS. They also reported it helped them sleep better, experience fewer mood swings and hot flashes, and reduced stress.

“Based on these strong results, we improved the formulation and applied for a patent in the U.S. market," Rutenberg explained. “We also have begun an ongoing, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with daacro GmbH, Trier, Germany, to learn more how Lipogen’s formulation can help alleviate PMS and PMDD symptoms."

20th Anniversary

TSI Group Co. Ltd (TSI) announced it is celebrating its 20th anniversary of business operations. Co-founders Joe Zhou and Larry Kolb launched the company in January 1996. The business started as a value-add distributor of dietary supplement ingredients sourced from China and tested and quality verified at TSI’s laboratory in Shanghai. Initially TSI sold ingredients to U.S. dietary supplement and food manufacturing companies.

TSI has evolved into a multinational organization, doing business in more than 35 countries. The company’s robust operating platform is equipped with seven GMP (good manufacturing practice) manufacturing facilities, along with state-of-the-art QA, QC and R&D laboratories. Today, TSI offers products through three operating divisions—innovative products, bio-active ingredients and contract manufacturing (of finished dosage products). TSI sells products through its global direct sales offices located in Manchester, UK (TSI Europe), Missoula, Montana (TSI USA), Shanghai (TSI China), Tokyo (TSI Japan) and Brisbane, Australia (TSI Pharmaceuticals).

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since we started TSI," said CEO Joe Zhou. “We’ve been so fortunate to have a group of dedicated, loyal and ambitious employees at TSI. They are the reason we are here today and they have always have been at the heart of our success."

According to Larry Kolb, TSI USA’s president , “All along we’ve had a very strong partnership with a robust and successful growth plan … The difference between TSI then (1996) and TSI now (2016) is truly amazing."

Board Election

Chris Penet, BIO-CAT’s vice president, was recently elected to the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VABIO) board of directors. An affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), VABIO represents the life sciences industry in Virginia. Its members are involved in the R&D of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. Penet’s role on the board will support the biotechnology industry and drive knowledge to address issues between the industry, government and academia within the state of Virginia.

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