Alcresta Therapeutics, Inc. (Alcresta), a company focused on developing innovative enzyme-based products for gastrointestinal and rare diseases, announced on July 28, 2016, that RELiZORB was selected as the Gold Winner at the Medical Device Excellence Awards (MDEA) in the Over-the-Counter and Self-Care Products Category.
The Medical Device Excellence Awards recognize significant advances in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of healthcare delivery to patients. The awards are offered in ten product categories, and include gold, silver, and bronze winners. All entries were scored by an impartial, independent, multidisciplinary panel of jurors, including clinicians, engineers, and designers, who carefully review all of the submissions and judge them based on an established set of criteria, such as the innovative use of materials in the development of the product, the ability to overcome design and engineering challenges, and the provision of features that improve healthcare delivery and enhanced benefits to the patient that ultimately change traditional medical attitudes and practices.
RELiZORB was specifically designed by Alcresta to mimic the function of the digestive enzyme lipase to break down fats in enteral tube feeding formula. Some patients who receive enteral nutrition, or tube feeding, are unable to partially or completely break down and absorb fats. By breaking down fats in enteral tube feeding formulas prior to ingestion, RELiZORB allows for the delivery of absorbable fatty acids and monoglycerides to these patients.
“The RELiZORB technology addresses an unmet medical need in patients who face nutritional challenges from fat malabsorption as a result of a variety of serious conditions. The MDEA award goes to the core of what we strive to accomplish: improve patient care by focusing on the needs of the patient and providing innovative and practical solutions,” said Robert Gallotto, Co-Founder and President of Alcresta Therapeutics.
Patients with fat malabsorption lack the ability to properly digest and absorb fats from their diet. This condition has two potential consequences: first, it limits the caloric and vital nutrient intake leading to an inability to maintain or gain weight; and second, the malabsorption of fats can cause significant gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., steatorrhea, flatulence, cramps) which may affect patient quality of life and adherence with treatment.
When patients with fat malabsorption cannot maintain their weight or develop nutritional deficits, they often rely on supplemental nutrition through a gastrostomy tube (or G-tube) to meet their nutritional needs. Until the FDA clearance of RELiZORB in November of 2015, there had been no approved products available to break down or hydrolyze fats in enteral tube feeding formulas.
“Our mission is to improve nutrition care in people with acute conditions or chronic diseases, by deploying our enzyme expertise and technology. We believe that this will lead to better overall treatment outcomes for these patients,” said Daniel Tassé, Chief Executive Officer of Alcresta Therapeutics.
RELiZORB is a first-of-its kind digestive enzyme cartridge designed to mimic the function of pancreatic lipase. RELiZORB is designed for use by adults on enteral tube feeding who have trouble breaking down and absorbing fats. RELiZORB was developed using Alcresta Therapeutics’ proprietary enzyme immobilization technology. The active ingredient in RELiZORB is the digestive enzyme lipase, attached to polymeric carriers, together called iLipase™.
As the enteral tube feeding formula passes through RELiZORB it makes contact with the iLipase, and the fat in the formula is broken down to its absorbable form (fatty acids and monoglycerides) prior to ingestion. The iLipase remains in the cartridge and does not become part of what is ingested. RELiZORB has been shown to break down more than 90 percent of fats in most enteral feeding tube formulas tested, including the most difficult to break down long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (AA), which are critical for growth and development.
Over time, decreased fat absorption can lead to deficiencies in important fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids. A balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is beneficial in maintaining normal development and overall health.
Alcresta Therapeutics is a company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel enzyme-based products designed to address challenges faced by people living with gastrointestinal disorders and rare diseases. The company uses its proprietary technology platform to support a broad pipeline of products, with an initial focus on pancreatic insufficiency, which results in malabsorption common in cystic fibrosis, digestive cancers, premature birth and other serious diseases. The company’s lead product, RELiZORB, is designed to reliably and efficiently deliver the optimal nutritional and caloric benefit from existing enteral tube feeding formulas by improving the breakdown and absorption of fats, in particular long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 (including DHA, EPA). The importance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 is well documented across the full spectrum of patient care from infants to adults and individuals battling acute conditions or chronic diseases. The company’s platform is supported by the Alcresta team’s extensive experience in pharmaceutical, medical device, and nutritional product development. Based in Massachusetts, the company is backed by top-tier venture investors like Athyrium Capital Management, Bessemer Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.alcresta.com.
RELiZORB and iLipase are trademarks of Alcresta Therapeutics, Inc. All rights reserved 2016.
SOURCE Alcresta Therapeutics, Inc.