New position paper identifies probiotic strains with efficacy for preterm babies
In November 2019, global bioscience company Chr. Hansen announced the launch of a new three-strain probiotic blend that can help support the health and development of intestines in preterm babies and has been shown to reduce risk of Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) by 50%. NEC is an inflammatory disease and the leading cause of mortality for preterm babies worldwide.
Available through customer partnerships in the US and in Europe, this product is already being used in several neonatal intensive care units. Now a new Position Paper by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) has recommended the probiotic strains included in the blend by Chr. Hansen.
The working group recommends that “if all safety conditions are met, the panel conditionally recommends using the combination of Bifidobacterium infantis, Bb-02 (DSM 33361), Bifidobacterium, BB-12 and Streptococcus thermophilus, TH-4 at a dose of 3.0 to 3.5 x 108 CFU (of each strain) as it might reduce NEC stage 2 or 3”.
The recommendation was published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition on 11 February 2020.
“With this new position statement, our three-strain probiotic blend has received a strong external validation by a highly recognized pediatric society. We are proud to deliver a probiotic solution with strong evidence on reducing one of the most serious conditions among preterm infants and we hope that with this external validation, the probiotic solution may aid an even greater number of preterm infants across the globe,” said Christian Barker, EVP for Health & Nutrition at Chr. Hansen.
“We could not have asked for a finer endorsement of our product, which represents Chr. Hansen’s strongholds in terms of innovation, next level quality and safety and not least our overall purpose. Using our science and technology to make a positive difference in the world is what we are in business for, and this solution is a great example of that.”
About 1-2% of all infants are born very preterm or extremely preterm – i.e. two months or earlier than their due date – which is some 2.4 million babies globally every year. NEC affects approximately 5% of this group and results in a mortality rate of up to 30%.
Chr. Hansen’s multi-strain probiotic has been tested in two high quality clinical trials for its efficacy and safety. It has shown to help support the intestinal tract for healthy immune and digestive function, reducing the risk of Necrotizing enterocolitis by 50%.
Due to the high vulnerability of infection in preterm infants, Chr. Hansen has implemented the strictest of production processes, adding many more requirements on top of what is stipulated as standard:
- All raw materials are sourced from approved suppliers based on a regulatory evaluation to be allowed in infant formula products.
- An extensive testing regimen is applied per batch for the only excipient in the product, maltodextrin, to verify microbiological quality.
- All rooms where open infant products are handled comply with ISO 14644-1-Class-7 and have an overpressure compared to the surroundings.
- Single use, sealed packages minimizes contamination risk in use.