WHITEFISH, MT / April 2, 2014 / Iron is an essential trace metal used throughout the human body. For example, iron is an essential component in a protein called hemoglobin that’s responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of anaemia in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Conversely, iron overload can be extremely dangerous and cause issues like liver cirrhosis.
World’s Most Common Deficiency
The World Health Organization cites iron deficiency anaemia as the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world affecting two billion people or 30% of the global population. Timely treatment could restore personal health and raise national productivity levels by as much as 20% by the organization’s estimates. While anaemia is exacerbated by poverty and infectious disease, the condition remains a big problem in developed countries too.
Solutions to anaemia may appear obvious on the surface: Simply provide a supplemental dietary source of iron. The problem is that iron supplementation can adversely impact the iron regulatory system which results in decreased absorption and mobilization. In these cases, the accumulation of iron within cells can lead to iron-induced toxicity that’s associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
Entia Develops a Solution
Entia Biosciences Inc. (OTC Markets: ERGO) is a food science biotechnology company and an emerging leader in the field of Nutrigenomics. With a focus on Ergothioneine (an amino acid) and Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), the company has developed a suite of scientifically-validated nutritional supplements and upcoming medical treatments designed to tackle multi-billion dollar problems in markets around the world, including iron deficiency and anaemia.
Entia Biosciences targets the iron regulatory system and seeks to control iron homeostasis instead of simply providing iron supplementation. In early-stage studies, ErgoD2 compounds have demonstrated their ability to increase blood iron levels in patients who are not on iron supplements, increase red blood cell production, and lower levels of a toxic protein that is associated with Parkinson’s disease. Management believes that the compound restores iron homeostasis by preventing toxic iron accumulation inside cells and tissues, and improving key biomarkers involved in iron metabolism.
Multi-Billion Dollar Markets
Entia Biosciences’ primary product designed to treat iron deficiency anaemia is its ErgoD2 Hemo product which elevates blood iron levels, hemoglobin and red blood cell counts. Management plans on initially developing the product to treat the 26 million U.S. adults suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease. These patients usually have low levels of erythropoietin and/or iron that results in low blood cell counts that are characteristic of anaemia.
Currently, patients are treated with drugs like Amgen Inc.’s (AMGN) EPOGEN or Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Procrit to increase erythropoietin and iron supplements to boost iron levels. Epoetin alfa, the source of these trade names, has been the single greatest drug expenditure paid for by U.S. Medicare, costing patients $8,447 per year, according to a New England Journal of Medicine report. A treatment that’s more efficacious at a lower cost could be worth billions of dollars.
Entia Biosciences represents a compelling investment opportunity. With a market capitalization of just over $5 million, the company trades at a fraction of its potential valuation if successful in bringing even one of its products to market in a big way. ErgoD2 Hemo has demonstrated efficacy in early trials and could revolutionize the multi-billion dollar market for erythropoietin products like EPOGEN and Procrit in the Chronic Kidney Disease space.
In addition to this product, management has developed a portfolio of products that are 100% USDA certified organic and naturally rich in potent antioxidants Ergothioneine and Ergocalciferol. These formulations are being provided in high volume consumer food products that are already being sold on its website, as well as being developed for specific medical markets. In aggregate, the portfolio could be worth much more than just its potential in the anaemia market.
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SOURCE: TDM Financial