Global nutrition company Dutch Medical Food has entered the medical food market, providing nutritional products and personalized solutions to people who need medical food.
Its products will be designed and manufactured in Europe in FDA, EC or TGA compliant facilities, distributing products globally through its main office in The Netherlands, as well as through partners in the United States, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Negar Esmailzadeh, VP of sales and marketing, Dutch Medical Foods, tells Food News International more about the sector and its strategies.
FNI: What are medical foods?
Esmailzadeh: Medical Foods have been defined by various regulatory authorities around the world and is a food that is formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician.
They are intended for the exclusive or partial feeding of individuals who suffer from certain diseases, disorders or medical conditions and whose nutritional requirements cannot be met by normal food alone.
The composition of medical foods is based on recognized scientific principles and established by medical evaluation.
FNI: What is your market strategy for your product offerings?
Esmailzadeh: Our market strategy centers around designing and commercializing both conventional and innovative nutritional products and personalized solutions.
To this end we will also be focusing on some of the rare conditions such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Myopathies.
Among other things, we will focus on efficiency improvements to provide high quality products and make them accessible in the markets we enter.
Our roll out strategy will be designed in collaboration with in-country partners and optimized for local market entry accommodating the unique needs of each target market.
We intend to initially focus on smaller less served markets in Central and South America as well as Asia.
This will allow us to be more efficient in serving the needs of patients in these markets.
FNI: What do you view your competitors?
Esmailzadeh: Our competitors are a source of inspiration for us and we have a shared objective to help improve the lives of people around the world through making medical foods available to those in need.
According to the 2019 Grand View research report, the global medical food market is estimated to grow to US$27.2 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 7%, with some specific areas and countries growing even faster.
This growth is boosted by rising geriatric population and an increase in prevalence of chronic diseases.
Our business model will focus on the smaller under penetrated markets thus helping to get medical foods to a broader segment of the population that needs care.
So, a lot of work needs to be done by all of us.
FNI: What are your target markets?
Esmailzadeh: There is a large unmet need in low- and middle-income markets.
For example, according to experts presenting at the 2019 international society of pediatric oncology, in high income countries, nearly 80% of children with cancer will survive, however only 20% of children with cancer tend to survive in low to middle income countries – and close to 90% of the world’s children are in low to middle income countries.
It is also important to recognize that disease-related malnutrition is different from undernourishment due to poverty.
Disease-related malnutrition is a widespread public health problem.
In Europe for instance, nearly 33 million people are estimated to be at risk and so the need exists in both rich and poor markets.
Our products will be designed specifically to meet the needs of adult and pediatric patients and we will focus our efforts on patient and practitioner education to help them identify the right product for the right conditions for the right patients.
FNI: How does your company navigate the regulators with your products?
Esmailzadeh: Decades of human clinical research have generated hundreds of published scientific studies and these form the basis of conclusive evidence to support the role of medical food in disease-related malnutrition.
Medical associations such as ASPEN and ESPEN as well as the major regulatory bodies in the world including the US FDA and the EU for instance have established guidelines for medical foods.
Our management team have a long history of working with health authorities and in-country regulatory experts and have successfully registered nutritional products around the world.
These are often lifesaving products and have a positive impact on improving health outcomes and regulators in many countries recognize this already.
In other markets with less developed regulatory framework our educational outreach efforts will include bringing best practices from other parts of the world via key opinion leaders and health policy experts.