AMHERST, Mass., July 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Investment group and business development firm Kayon Partners is forming a new company in conjunction with UMASS to commercialize a unique food technology developed in the laboratory of Prof. D. Julian McClements based in UMASS Amherst, MA. The new company, which will be led by Kayon Partners principals Stephen Garrow and David Vogel, will work with Dr. McClements, the UMASS Tech Transfer Team and with established companies and thought leaders in the food and drug industries, to custom-develop excipient foods which can be used along with a variety of drugs and vitamins.
It is well known that some foods, e.g., grape juice, can interfere with the body's ability to absorb certain drugs and vitamins. Surprisingly, Dr. McClements has found ways to make foods that do the opposite: they enhance the body's ability to absorb drugs and vitamins. Materials that enhance drug absorption are known as "excipients," so these new foods are called "excipient foods." Benefits of excipient food are two-fold: for some drugs and vitamins, the excipient food will allow the body to better absorb and benefit from them; and, for some drugs, the excipient food will allow a patient to get the same benefit from a lower dose of the drug, which may mean there will be fewer side effects from the drug.
Kayon has taken an option to license the UMASS patent applications on this technology. These patent applications describe a wide range of specialized modifications to physical, chemical and biological attributes of foods to make them become excipients. The excipient foods can also be tailored to be solids, liquids or soft foods, and to have a variety of flavors and textures.
Doctors will one day prescribe a particular antibiotic or other drug along with instructions that the medicine should be taken with a particular excipient food such as a drug-enhancing cookie, pudding, or beverage that is made and marketed by this new company. Vitamin purchasers may have the option of buying a companion excipient food product to ensure the maximum benefit from the vitamin or supplement. The new company is being formed in the hope that such products can have a profound effect on the safety of medicines used in modern healthcare. There are other applications (beyond food and drugs) that Kayon is currently investigating including cosmetics.
About UMASS Food Science Group
Food Science as a formal academic discipline began at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1918, and now, almost a century later, it remains one of the world's preeminent food science programs. The UMASS Food Science Group was ranked the top PhD research program in the U.S. by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
About Kayon Partners LLC
Kayon Partners provides capital and management assistance to private companies ranging from university technology transfer to later stage growth companies and other special situations. Kayon brings its resources to enable and empower the achievement of ambitious goals by asking the right questions and challenging clichés. Kayon Partners is sub-advisor to the LeoGroup Private Investment Access, LLC.
SOURCE Kayon Partners LLC