Is pharma interest in probiotics a challenge or opportunity?

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The probiotic category continues to grow rapidly on a global basis. And with growth comes increased interest probiotics and microbiome modulation therapies from the pharmaceutical sector. But is this increased interest a good thing for the traditional probiotic players?

The recent Probiota event in Berlin brought together leading experts in research and business to discuss the state of play in probiotics, prebiotics and microbiome modification.

NutraIngredients asked for expert insights on a range of topics. Here we asked experts from the business and research world whether increased interest in the microbiome and probiotics from big pharmaceutical is a challenge or opportunity for long-established probiotics researchers and suppliers.

Susanne Baekgaard of Bifodan told us that the use of drug development technologies and methodologies for the development of probiotic strains and science 'can be beneficial', while Amy Smith of DuPont said the probiotic industry working with the pharmaceutical industry is 'very promising' and "could really make a difference in people's lives."

"Probiotics, as they are today, are generally used as dietary supplements where they can be manufactured according to dietary supplement GMPs, and crossing the line over to the world of pharmaceuticals would mean a difference in manufacturing where pharmaceutical GMPs would have to be followed and there would be a change in the manufacturing process," said Smith.

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