Tracy Gibbs, Founder, Dave Phillippy, General Manager/Co-owner and Adam Hagaman, President Of Sales/Co- Owner “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Much like this saying, one can never undermine the significance of preventive care, especially in today’s environment. The advent of Covid-19 has undeniably reinforced the need for embracing a proactive approach to health and wellbeing rather than relying on reactive measures. This surge in the awareness and emphasis on preventive healthcare has accentuated the use of nutraceuticals or bioceuticals as a preventative cure. Their ability to offer amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fibers, probiotics, and proteins helps in the proper functioning of the human body and boosting immunity.
Nutraceuticals are typically pharmaceutical alternatives with physiological benefits that have shown promise in preventing diseases and promoting good health. As such, this wing of “dietary supplements” has gained tremendous market traction, with an increasing number of brands offering their own versions of functional foods. Yet, there remains a problem that brands are struggling to address and consumers are unaware of—the bioavailability of these supplements—which has been existing way before the pandemic.
While nutraceuticals are rich in nutritional value, the promising results of these products in the lab often fail to translate into effectiveness in humans. The amount of what’s absorbed by the human body is fairly less than the promised value. At best, the products available today could deliver up to 15 percent bioavailability. For instance, Curcumin, one of the most consumed products globally, is just five percent bioavailable, while CBD, the next-gen nutraceutical, offers only six percent bioavailability. Considering the competitive nature of this market, brands are investing an ample amount of time and effort in enhancing their product’s bioavailability to gain an edge—which is a task easier said than done. However, improving the absorption rate of nutraceuticals is a holy grail for brands and the health and wellness community.
Understanding this requirement, Tracy Gibbs, the founder of Nano9 Labs, decided to bring innovative ideas to enhance these products’ absorption rates and bioavailability. “I have been studying and conducting R&D in absorption and absorption enhancing technologies for my entire career,” says Gibbs. He leveraged his industry know-how and longstanding experience to develop a patented solution in 2007 that used enzymes to enhance absorption rates.
However, his passion for adding value to the nutraceutical industry continuously drove him to brainstorm in pursuit of building a revolutionary product. This vision saw the day of light when Gibbs came across nanotechnology and its proven ability in immunization applications within the pharmaceutical industry. He then dedicated a good part of his life to understanding the core of nanotechnology and how it could be applied to nutraceuticals. His tireless efforts to gain subject matter expertise took him to several industry leaders from the most prominent universities and research labs.
After two years of dedicated research, Gibbs identified the possibilities to encapsulate food-based ingredients into a nanoparticle.
By nano-sizing the nutraceutical ingredients, we increase the contact area with the absorptive-cells of the digestive lining, which helps in enhancing the absorption capability
This gave birth to an innovative, first-of-its-kind NanoZorb technology and the establishment of Nano9 Labs in 2019. “We are delivering ‘The Science of Small’,” says Dave Phillippy, General Manager/Co-owner of Nano9 Labs.
NANO-SIZING THE NUTRACEUTICALS
Today, Nano9 Labs is a scientifically-driven company that specializes in the development and production of leading nano-sized health and wellness products by utilizing its proprietary NanoZorb technology. The company has built a robust three-stage nanoparticle processor from the ground up that ensures a lipid bond for cellular recognition as well as sub-micron nanoparticle sizes. Such pharmaceutical industry-grade equipment allows it to encapsulate dietary supplement ingredients—be it vitamin D, Curcumin, Resveratrol, or Lutein—into a nanoparticle. Being able to nano-size the nutraceutical ingredients, the company helps brands resolve the challenges pertaining to limited bioavailability and poor solubility with conventional delivery methods of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, and over-the-counter products.
As Gibbs mentions, “the introduction of nanotechnology into the nutraceutical space brings in a paradigm shift in the way dietary supplements are delivered to users. By nano-sizing the nutraceutical ingredients, we increase the contact area with the absorptive-cells of the digestive lining, which helps in enhancing the absorption capability.” These particles are instantly absorbed into the consumer’s bloodstream and delivered to every cell, bypassing the full digestion process. As such, the technology ensures that the nutrition goes right where it’s needed most without losing the efficacy of the product, providing the consumer with power, endurance, and recovery faster and more effectively.
In one of the studies conducted by Nano9 Labs, it was proven that their innovative nanotechnology could provide several times more efficacy to Curcumin in human pancreatic cancer cells than non-nano-sized Curcumin or regular micronized Curcumin. Nano-sized nutraceuticals have no side effects as they are all-natural and free of synthetics, sugar, binders, fillers, wax, shellac, talcum, and animal gelatin.
A WHITE-LABELED APPROACH
Such a powerful value proposition allows Nano9 Labs to support several dietary supplement brands across the globe, with customers in Korea, Japan, the UK, and Singapore. The company also stays ahead of the competition with its unique client engagement model—a white-labeled approach. “We are neither a nutraceutical brand, nor we have a product. We help brands reformulate their existing ingredient composition into a nano dietary supplement line, enabling them to gain an extra edge over the competition,” adds Gibbs. In short, the company serves as a dedicated manufacturing facility for its clients, helping them enhance their products’ capabilities and efficiency.
To further elaborate Nano9 Labs’ value proposition, Gibbs recalls their recent collaboration with Silver Sparrow, a small organization that sells CBD-based products for pain, stress, and sleep. Unfortunately, their nutraceutical-based products were just six percent bioavailable.
Identifying their hardships, Nano9 Labs approached Silver Sparrow with its innovation capable of turning their products 100 percent bioavailable, helping them carve their way into the market. The company reformulated its composition into a nano dietary supplement line and manufactured the products in its own facility. Post collaboration, Silver Sparrow was witnessing a significant increase in sales—a 400 percent growth in 2020.
In another instance, Nano9 Labs identified a growing demand for best-in-class immunity-boosting supplements with the advent of Covid-19. Dedicated to helping clients fulfill these needs, the company identified the brands that are already recognized in the space for selling vitamin C-, vitamin D-, and zinc-based nutraceuticals approached them, and nano-sized their ingredients to make their products more efficacious. As a result, the company was able to leverage the pandemic as an opportunity to fast-track its business operations and manifest its capability to align with the ever-changing needs in the industry.
A CULTURE THAT DRIVES GROWTH
We help brands reformulate their existing ingredient composition into a nano dietary supplement line, enabling them to gain an extra edge over the competition
Such instances of client success testify Nano9 Labs’ commitment towards building solutions that add value to the nutraceutical industry. The company’s dedicated team of prominent scientists and researchers who continually work on developing innovations and product formulations also helps it drive success. Additionally, Phillippy’s longstanding experience in serving as an operational leader in a wide array of big and small organizations such as Hershey Foods Corporation, Ingram Micro, Young Living, and more helped the company to build a more systematic and streamlined in-house operations. This helps Nano9 Labs to adopt a collaborative work culture that ensures its employees’ involvement in R&D operations and innovative strategies. “We always take suggestions and feedback from our workforce to make sure that our products are designed to meet the needs of the industry and users,” adds Phillippy.
Going forward, the company aims to enhance its manufacturing capabilities by incorporating automated equipment. Nano9 Labs is also looking forward to deploying a dedicated sales team to reach out to more clients internationally. The company’s marketing department is on a drive to identify highly used yet low in bioavailability ingredients and bring them under the roof of nanotechnology to make them really valuable for the public. “We are always dedicated to develop clinically-tested, nano-science based products that serve the primary needs of the consumer while delivering them a better quality of life. We also have some aggressive plans to accelerate our growth,” concludes Phillippy.