In the Chinese market, Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has made a new breakthrough, corresponding to five years.
a few days ago, Nestle Health Sciences released the first fully nutritious formula special medical food for cancer patients in China, “fast shining element”. “The approval of fast Yi Su is a breakthrough from 0 to 1, which solves the problem that disease-specific formulas can be listed in China.” In reply to the snack generation’s query today, Gu Xinxin, President of Nestle Health Sciences Greater China, revealed that the registration process of “Su Yi Su” formula took nearly five years.
However, she also pointed out that Su Yi Su is still facing the channel dilemma of “the last mile”. In addition, she also talked about the next step plans and expectations of Nestle China special medical food. Let’s pay attention.
At present, there is still a large gap in the special medical food market for cancer patients in China. According to the current measures for the registration and administration of formula food for special medical purposes, special medical food refers to formula food specially processed and prepared to meet the special needs of people with eating restrictions, digestive and absorption disorders, metabolic disorders or specific disease states for nutrients or meals. Special medical food suitable for people over 1 year old, including full nutrition formula food, specific full nutrition formula food and non full nutrition formula food. Among them, the above “full nutrition formula food” and “specific full nutrition formula food” refer to products that can be used as a single source of nutrition. The difference is that the former meets the nutritional needs of the target population, and the latter meets the nutritional needs of the target population in specific diseases (note: such as tumor, diabetes) or medical conditions. “Special medical food can be said to be the food for tumor patients and other patients, and it is the key support for clinical treatment.” Gu Xinxin told xiaoshidai, “but in the special medical industry, many of them are ordinary full nutrition formula foods, which can not really meet the (specific) nutritional treatment needs of patients such as tumor patients.”
Gu Xinxin quoted a large sample clinical investigation report of more than 30000 cases by the professional committee of cancer nutrition and support therapy of China Anti Cancer Association, saying that the incidence of severe malnutrition among hospitalized patients with malignant tumors in China was as high as 57%. “Malnutrition will seriously affect the clinical treatment decision-making of tumor, increase the risk of complications and even endanger life. In addition, malnutrition will also have an adverse impact on the perioperative tumor treatment, including the slow wound healing of patients who smell pale, prone to complications, which is not conducive to the recovery of gastrointestinal function after surgery and the development of follow-up treatment.” Gu Xinxin said that for tumor patients receiving radiotherapy and drug treatment, the lack of nutrition “is likely to reduce immunity and aggravate the toxic and side effects of treatment”, which makes patients unable to tolerate treatment or even give up treatment. It is reported that “Su Yi Su” is the first fully nutritious formula special medical food specially for cancer patients in China. This product is suitable for cancer patients over 10 years old who have nutritional risks or malnutrition, including people undergoing major tumor surgery and radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It must be taken under the guidance of a doctor or clinical dietitian, and can be taken alone or in combination with other foods.
“Tumor and tumor treatment itself will consume a lot of nutrition. Strictly speaking, patients should (additionally) take nutritional supplements from the first day of diagnosis.” Gu Xinxin said, “fast Yi Su” can be used as a single source of nutrition for cancer patients to meet their nutritional needs throughout the course of the disease. As a “meal for cancer patients”, the nutritional mix of this product has also been specially designed, such as the addition of “L-arginine, n-3 fatty acids, nucleotides” three immune nutrient combinations. “These three immune nutrient combinations are not available in ordinary full nutrition formula foods (currently on the Chinese market).” Gu Xinxin said, “tumor patients have systemic inflammatory reaction and low immunity. Tachylin, which is added with three major immune nutrients, can help tumor patients mobilize their body’s immunity.”
Gu Xinxin, President of Nestle Health Sciences Greater China (information picture)
It also said that the clinical trial data proved that tachylin can relieve the toxic and side effects of cancer patients with radiotherapy and chemotherapy through effective nutritional supplementation, while helping patients recover quickly, maintain weight, and complete the course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy on time. In addition, tachylin also has the characteristics of high protein, and the energy supply ratio of carbon water, protein and fat is more reasonable. It contains soluble dietary fiber, which helps to improve the intestinal health of cancer patients and reduce the incidence of diarrhea, constipation and so on.
In fact, this symbolic product also experienced “many difficulties” before it was launched. Xiaoshidai learned that suyisu is a product that Nestle has previously widely sold abroad and is often called “suyusu”. The newly launched fast-acting element is a product produced by its Taizhou factory in Jiangsu Province after formula adjustment and clinical trials in China.
But this road of localization is not easy to take. Gu Xinxin told xiaoshidai that suyisu encountered many challenges in the process of obtaining the registration qualification of special medical food.
For example, improve the formula. “The clinical trial of Su Yi Su needs to be carried out in accordance with the GCP standard of drugs, and the actual process is more complex than drugs. After the drugs are introduced from abroad, they can be directly registered in accordance with the regulations, but Su Yi Su also needs to be improved in terms of the formula meeting the Chinese standards.” Gu Xinxin said. She said that these improvements include reducing the proportion of carbohydrate energy supply and adding three major immune nutrients. It took one and a half years to complete the improvement, and it also paid a “huge economic cost”.
In addition to the formula adjustment, Su Yi Su also carried out the innovation of localized preparations. “Foreign products are powders, which need to be mixed. The domestic localized formula is liquid, which can be used immediately after opening the lid. It is very convenient for oral administration or tube feeding, and the intake volume can be more accurate.” Gu Xinxin said.
Foreign fast healing elements “
In addition, there are clinical trials, which is also the end of Nestle’s “crossing the river by feeling the stone”. “Relevant rules such as clinical trial design, guiding principles, evaluation standards, evaluation acceptance and verification standards need to be discussed with experts, and the guiding principles of clinical trials are not mature. They all move forward while exploring. Our six clinical centers have conducted trials for two years.” She said that these local test data proved the role of tachylin in stimulating and mobilizing the immune system of tumor patients to meet their nutritional needs.
Now, after the product is approved, Nestle also needs to solve the “last mile” problem of Limited sales channels. “At present, special medical food has not entered the diagnosis and treatment catalogue of the hospital, and doctors cannot directly prescribe in diagnosis, which adds complexity to the sales and supervision of special medical food.” Gu Xinxin pointed out that Su Yisu cannot be sold normally in hospitals like drugs at present, and the company is seeking to expand various channels inside and outside the hospital to facilitate purchase. Xiaoshidai noticed that several pharmaceutical retail enterprises have recently started advance purchase of fast Yisu.
With the steady development of China’s special medical food market in recent years, Nestle Health Sciences also hopes to expand its competitive advantage. According to the data, from 2016 to 2021, the scale of China’s special medical food market gradually expanded, with an average annual growth rate of more than 30%, much higher than the growth rate of the global market scale. In 2020, the proportion of China’s special medical food market in the global market has climbed to 9.5%, while it was still 3.9% in 2016. “China’s special medical food is currently in its infancy, but with the further development of the aging trend, the demand for disease-specific formulas will increase, and special medical food will enter the golden period of development.” Gu Xinxin said.
It said that nestle Health Sciences China will develop and introduce more special medical foods in the future, such as products for patients with diabetes and kidney disease. In addition, the company is also exploring special medical foods specially designed for children with rare congenital metabolic diseases, and believes that the special needs of the elderly with chronic diseases also need attention. “Nestle health science is one of the key components of Nestle’s overall strategy in China, and has invested and built a formula food factory for special medical purposes in China, hoping to bring very rapid performance growth.” Guxinxin told xiaoshidai. At the level of China and even the world, Nestle health science is regarded as a growth “potential stock” by the world’s largest food company, and it is also the business sector with the highest acquisition frequency by the latter since 2020. After frequent acquisitions, Nestle Health Sciences has established three major sectors: medical nutrition, consumer health sector (Note: mainly dietary supplements), and innovative nutritional treatment (such as professional nutrition for food allergy). In China, medical nutrition and consumer health care businesses have been established. The former is the main source of revenue, while the latter is still in its infancy.
According to Nestle’s 2021 annual report, the sales volume of Nestle health sciences last year was 4.8 billion Swiss francs (about 33.853 billion yuan), an organic increase of 13.5% year-on-year. Nestle CEO Mark Schneider once said at the 2021 annual report performance meeting that the company is very committed to developing Nestle’s health science business. Now it has achieved a certain scale and can create synergy internally. Bloomberg previously quoted analysts as saying that in 2019, Nestle Health Science accounted for 3% of Nestle’s total revenue, which is expected to reach nearly 8% this year.
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