Commercial launch decisions: Nestle’s novel infant formula lands in China following Hong Kong debut
The product, launched under the brand WYETH S-26 Ultima, contains alpha-lipids, phospholipids including sphingomyelin, vitamin B12, DHA, iron, folic acid, and 2’-Fucosyllactose relevant for the formation of myelin.
Myelin is a lipid-rich sheath that insulates and protects nerve fibres crucial for cognitive and behavioural development.
Findings published in Frontiers in Nutrition showed that infants who consumed formula containing the nutrient blend showed an increase in myelin volume in the whole brain, the cerebellum and occipital lobe. These regions are involved in sensory, motor, cognitive, and language functions.
So far, the product, containing the blend marketed as Nutrilearn Connect, is only available in China and Hong Kong. Market launch in other countries is expected to take place from next year.
Asked the reasons behind its market launch decisions, Nestle highlighted a few key considerations.
“Our commercial decisions on where to launch new innovations are based on several factors, including the market’s acceptance for innovations, the brand’s geographical reach or overall competitive environment," said Janet Matope, R&D communications manager.
The Switzerland-made product, which is available as a stage 1 to 4 formula, is sold across both e-commerce and offline retail stores, and product pricing is determined by these merchants.
According to the firm, new clinical data on the nutrient blend will be presented at the Excellence in Pediatric Conference in Amsterdam in December.
“We are currently completing the clinical study data analyses for infants up to 2 years of life. These additional results are planned to be published in 2023.
"In our scientific work, we connected different fields of our research expertise, including infant nutrition and cognitive development, before embarking into a first-of-its-kind clinical study," Matope said.
The clinical trial on the blend was conducted at the Rhode Island Hospital and Pennington Biomedical Research Center in the US.
“Our R&D teams developed novel approaches, such as measuring specific nutrients in breast milk, or visualising and quantifying myelin in the developing brain," Eline Van der Beek, Head of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences at Nestlé Research said earlier on the firm’s research.