Monteloeder targets €2m Horizon 2020 funding – and promises to share it with customers if it wins


MetabolAid already ranked top in Europe during first stage of process

Natural ingredients supplier, Monteloeder, has promised to invest €600,000 to help its customers launch new products containing MetabolAid – if it wins a €2m grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 innovation programme.

Spain-based Monteloeder has already secured €50,000 after MetabolAid, which addresses the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, was ranked top in the first stage of the programme. It is now finalising its application for stage 2 funding.

If successful, Monteloeder will match-fund the cost of developing, commercialising and marketing consumer products containing MetabolAid in Europe, the USA and Asia – up to a maximum of €200,000 in each region. It has already identified a partner in Japan for the Asian market, but continues to seek two companies to work with elsewhere. The money will also pay for an application to obtain EFSA approval for MetabolAid under the EU’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation.

Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, a scheme under which the European Commission is handing out funds of up to €80bn to companies who can demonstrate that they will drive economic growth in Europe through science. Only 14% of companies who apply for funding are successful.

Fernando Cartagena, Global Head of Marketing at Monteloeder, said: 'Launching a new product to consumers can be risky and expensive, so this represents an excellent opportunity for us to help our customers by taking on some of the financial burden. The Horizon 2020 programme rewards companies who take a collaborative approach to innovation and the commercialisation of science, so we are confident our commitment to match-fund new product development with our three selected partners will resonate with the expert panel that evaluates our application. Very few companies are successful in winning grants, and the fact that MetabolAid did so well in the first stage of the process gives us great hope for this next stage.'

MetabolAid is a groundbreaking botanical ingredient that tackles metabolic syndrome – a dangerous condition in which high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity combine to increase greatly the risk of someone developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Four years in development, it is a combination of two plants: a hibiscus variety (Hibiscus sabdariffa) and lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla). Together, these well-known and safe herbal extracts provide a synergistic effect that addresses the key causes of metabolic syndrome. MetabolAid is fully water-soluble and is suitable for use in dietary supplements, beverages and some food products.

To demonstrate the benefits of MetabolAid in humans, Monteloeder commissioned a clinical study involving overweight and moderately obese female volunteers at the University Miguel Hernández de Elche in Spain. The subjects were divided into two groups, with both following an isocaloric diet, but with one group given a formula containing 500mg of MetabolAid and the other given a placebo. The study lasted 2 months and 46 participants completed it.

The results were extremely positive, demonstrating the following improvements in anthropometric measures among the subjects consuming 500mg of MetabolAid a day, compared with those taking the placebo:

  • a higher reduction in bodyweight – an average of 4kg
  • a greater reduction in waist circumference – an average of 5.6cm
  • a more significant reduction in body fat – an average of 4.8%.

In addition, the consumption of MetabolAid also significantly decreased heart rate (-11.2%) and systolic blood pressure (-12.8%). The group taking MetabolAid also exhibited a significant decrease in blood sugar levels (-3.31%), total cholesterol (-11.8%) and LDL cholesterol (-18.6%).

The results show that consumption of MetabolAid for 2 months in overweight women improved anthropometric parameters, decreased systolic blood pressure and heart rate, and improved blood lipid profile. As such, it can be concluded that 500mg of MetabolAid per day may be considered as an effective dietary supplement for weight management and the prevention of metabolic syndrome.

The positive outcome of this study follows on from earlier preclinical tests involving mice fed on a high-fat diet, which showed that the active compounds in MetabolAid influence key metabolic enzymes that regulate cholesterol levels, glucose accumulation and lipolysis (fat breakdown) – all factors that can trigger metabolic syndrome. This helps to explain how MetabolAid works.

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Mr Cartagena said: 'Metabolic syndrome is a global problem estimated to affect 40% of Americans and 30% of Europeans aged 50 years and over. MetabolAid offers a natural, safe and proven solution to this epidemic – one that can alleviate the burden metabolic syndrome places on healthcare systems and enable people everywhere to lead healthier and happier lives.'