TORONTO and BOCA RATON, Fla., June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IM HealthScience® announced today that IBgard®, the first peppermint oil natural health product for the relief of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms, has been approved by Health Canada's Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). The product's label includes use for the overall symptoms of IBS, specifically for improvement or relief of abdominal pain and discomfort, abdominal bloating and distension, and urgency of bowel movement.
IBS is a frustrating, underdiagnosed, and undertreated condition characterized by abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits that affects an estimated five million Canadians. In fact, Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world and it contributes to the most common causes of work and school absenteeism, as noted by the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation.
"Consumers suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome now have another effective product that represents an advance in the management of IBS, because there is currently no cure for the condition and management options are limited," said Dr. Michael Epstein, a leading U.S. gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Officer of IM HealthScience®.
IBgard® utilizes a novel delivery system called Site Specific Targeting (SST®) designed to deliver peppermint oil in the form of tiny microspheres quickly and reliably to the small intestine, considered to be the primary site of disturbance in IBS.
Basis For Approval
The NNHPD, in granting this approval, reviewed the results of a pivotal clinical trial recently conducted in the United States. This clinical trial, entitled IBSREST (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Response Evaluation and Safety Trial) was a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of IBgard® at four sites across the United States. This clinical trial showed unprecedented efficacy and safety for IBgard® and was selected by a committee of gastroenterology experts for four poster sessions and one oral presentation at the plenary session of the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Washington, D.C., in May 2015. This meeting is the largest gastroenterology meeting in the world with 15,000 attendees. A standing-room-only gathering heard this oral presentation on May 18, 2015.
Alicja Wojewnik, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of Dicentra, who led the IM HealthScience® initiative for Health Canada approval, said, "The IBgard® claims approved by Health Canada speak to the power and credibility of the IM HealthScience® robust scientific body of evidence."
IBgard® was made available to doctors and patients in the U.S. in 2014. It is available in the digestive aisle as a non-prescription medical food in CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens stores in the U.S. Its use in the U.S. is for the dietary management of IBS under medical supervision.
Medical foods, while not requiring U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pre-approval, must comply with regulatory requirements related to their manufacturing and distribution.
"IM HealthScience® looks forward to share this important innovation in IBS with patients in Canada and around the world," said Dr. Epstein.
About Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a frustrating, underdiagnosed and undertreated condition that irritates the bowel and can disrupt the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. It affects an estimated 15-20 percent of the U.S population and an estimated 18 percent of the Canadian population. People who have IBS often experience distressful digestive symptoms, some of which can be severe or unbearable. Abdominal pain, bloating and altered abdominal bowel habits are examples of these symptoms.
About IM HealthScience®
IM HealthScience® is a privately held company based in Boca Raton, Florida, that developed IBgard®. It was founded in 2010 by a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical research and development and management executives. The company is dedicated to developing products to address gastrointestinal issues where there is a high unmet need, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Functional Dyspepsia, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn's Disease. The IM HealthScience® advantage comes from developing products based on its patented, targeted-delivery technologies called Site Specific Targeting (SST®). For more information, visit www.IBgard.com to learn more about IBgard®.
SOURCE IM HealthScience