Niagen, the first commercially available brand of NR, has the potential to be a “next-generation niacin” (vitamin B3) and become part of the portfolio of B-vitamin ingredients that are included in products serving multi-billion dollar markets such as multi-vitamins, nutraceuticals, weight-loss, energy drinks, sports nutrition, meal replacements, infant formula, food and beverage products, according to a release from the company.
Dr. Oberdan Leo, with the help of ULB researchers Drs. Fabienne Andris, Anthony Rongvaux and Frederic Van Gool, identified the mammalian gene encoding for nicotinamide phosphoribosyl tranferase (Nampt), the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway linking nicotinamide—a major component of vitamin B3—to the coenzyme NAD. The group later demonstrated that this biosynthetic pathway plays an important role in lymphocyte development and in the regulation of innate immunity.
In a statement Dr. Leo said, "The discovery that immune activation led to increased expression of Nampt led us to postulate intracellular NAD status may play an important role during an immune response. Exogenous NR has been shown to promote intracellular NAD accumulation and we are therefore thrilled by the possibility to explore, in collaboration with ChromaDex scientists, the effect of NR on the immune system in a series of preclinical models.”
Over the past two years, ChromaDex has built a significant patent portfolio pertaining to NR by separately acquiring patent rights from Cornell University, Dartmouth College and Washington University, with the goal of creating a significant barrier to entry for would-be competitors in the NR market.