Singaporeans spent US$374.4 million (S$494 million) on vitamins and health supplements in 2017 – this is US$30 million more than in 2012, according to market research firm Euromonitor.
Our busy lifestyles have led us to having “meals that are unbalanced in terms of nutrition”, a research analyst at Euromonitor was quoted as saying.
We can now make more informed decisions on various vitamins and supplements in the market, but how many of these pills actually improve people’s health and quality of life?
This pharmaceutical company in Singapore wants to do that with the launch of their new-generation, plant-based supplements that shows measurable impact on consumers’ wellbeing.
We spoke with Eva Tan, Commercial Director at iX Biopharma to find out more about the company.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Eva handles corporate communications and corporate transactions and also takes the lead on Entity Health, iX Biopharma’s nutraceutical arm.
iX Biopharma was founded in Singapore in 2008, after they gathered a group of experienced scientists from western Australia who were experts in drug delivery formulation.
It was eventually listed on the SGX in July 2015.
They came together to develop a drug delivery platform they patented known as WaferiX.
Conventional drug delivery methods include oral administration through tablets, pills, capsules, and softgels, and intravenous administration through drops and injections, Eva explained.
WaferiX is a fast-dissolving wafer formulation that lets pharmacologically active compounds, including Sildenafil (Viagra), to be administered sublingually (from under the tongue).
She added, “Key advantages of WaferiX include the reduction of the effect of first-pass metabolism, rapid onset of action, better side effect profile, easy administration, improved patient compliance and a better storage profile.”
The pharmaceutical arm of iX Biopharma has used WaferiX to develop three different pharmaceutical products in pain management and men’s health.
In 2017, the iX group noticed how consumers went from getting treatment for health issues to preventing health conditions from happening. More and more consumers also preferred taking natural supplements.
Entity Health was thus founded to meet this demand of nipping health problems in the bud.
Their team of scientists developed a line of 12 premium nutraceutical products consisting of natural ingredients in its Australian TGA-certified, GMP-compliant research and development and manufacturing facility.
More Than Just Providing Nutrition
Earlier, we mentioned that because of our busy lifestyles, the meals we have are not as nutritious as they should be, so we take multivitamins and supplements like magnesium, zinc, calcium, and fish oil, to make up for the lack of nutrients in our diets.
Entity Health’s nutraceuticals, according to Eva, provide health and medical benefits beyond nutrition.
“Our products are […] designed to address specific health conditions and formulated with premium grade extracts for DNA and cellular repair, skin protection and fairness, and management of joint and bone health, among others,” she explained.
Eva went on to say that vitamins and other nutritional supplements paired with regular physical activity are important as the first line of defence against general health problems.
Their products are the next line of defence for the prevention and treatment of chronic and lifestyle-based conditions, such as the lack of sleep and stress.
Each Entity Health product addresses a different health condition.
For example, people worried about ageing and decreasing energy levels are recommended to take the MetaboliX Plus to lessen symptoms of ageing like lethargy and osteoarthritis.
Consumers suffering from problems in the joints are encouraged to take the FortefiX Plus which helps to repair joints and improve joint mobility and flexibility.
In a sunny and hot place like Singapore, our skins age faster and freckles and spots develop more easily too.
So for those who want to prevent that from happening, they can take a combination of the LumeniX and Brillar to brighten and rebuild suppleness in their skin.
Eva shared that consumers who take Entity Health’s sleep supplement helps them to sleep within 15 to 20 minutes. The supplement uses the WaferiX technology to effectively deliver melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Knowledge Is Power
She shared that a majority of Singaporean consumers buy supplements from retail pharmacies.
The consumers have limited choices available to them as Singapore pharmacies tend to carry brands that focus on conventional vitamins and mineral supplements.
She continued, “Many consumers are not aware that a different class of supplements have emerged and how these can and should form part of their strategy for preventing the onset of serious health conditions.”
Their website contains plenty of information, like the science behind each product, and interesting and educational healthcare articles.
That’s because modern consumers are getting more health-conscious and are more aware of the reasons for medical conditions, so they are “more confident in deciding” what they can do to “achieve optimum health”, Eva told me.
She noted that the “first wave of companies” in this industry “have not evolved” to meet the needs of this tech-savvy generation – and that’s where Entity Health has the upper hand.
Being omnichannel allows them to have the best of both digital and traditional media.
On top of their e-commerce site, they retail on third-party platforms and participate in expos and conferences, events at shopping centres, and even send their healthcare professionals to participate in health talks.
“Educating consumers on the benefits of incorporating nutraceuticals into their daily lives is a process that Entity will be continuously engaging in as part of its marketing campaigns,” Eva said.
They have just soft launched online in December last year and apart from Singapore, you can purchase Entity Health’s products at premium pharmacies in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth in Australia.
Eva revealed that since the soft launch, they have seen 10 times increase in sales revenue and units sold.
Entity Health will continue to design other formulations to target and solve different conditions; customers have requested to expand their skincare line to include other skin beauty and health supplements.
On top of that, they’ll be working with more resellers in the coming months so it will become more accessible to get an Entity Health product.
Featured Image Credit: @uhwing