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CZO.V: CoQ10 and Beta Glucan in Energy Drink

By John Vandermosten, CFA


Ceapro Inc. (TSX:CZO.V) announced the successful combination of beta glucan (BG) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) using its PGX technology in a May 4, 2017 press release.  CoQ10 is a fat soluble antioxidant that helps convert food into energy and and may have wide ranging health benefits including the reduction of oxidative stress and heart heatlh.  The company additionally announced the completion of the first development stage of this project which consisted of two studies related to the combination of beta glucan and CoQ10 and the testing of a functional beverage.

Ceapro has been developing its Pressurized Gas eXpanded (PGX) Technology to convert biopolymers into solid states that are water soluble and can be combined with other foods, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and pharmaceutical products.  Ceapro’s success in the first development stage of of their functional beverage project has effectively combined beta glucan with CoQ10.  The first study sought to find the optimal conditions for the combination of the two compounds and to create a water soluble complex.  The second study tested the appeal of a functional drink employing the combination of beta glucan and CoQ10 based on a variety of attributes including taste, texture and consistency.  The test compared two formulations (BG alone and BG with CoQ10) of the drink which were evaluated by a panel of reviewers.  The reviewers were not able to distinguish between the two alternatives, supporting the successful combination of the two products and their uniform dispersion in liquid.  

The tests demonstrated the ability of the PGX technology to form stable mixtures of CoQ10 in water from impregnation of the coenzyme onto a highly porous surface such as BG.  The BG, in turn, acts as a carrier to improve the bioavailability CoQ10 to transport it to the mitochondria of the cells where it is able to impart its antioxidant and energy conversion characteristics.  While widely available as a nutritional supplement, CoQ10 in its commercially available form has poor bioavailability due to its low aqueous solubility and high molecular weight.  The combination with BG through the use of PGX serves to address this shortcoming.

The next step for the BG/CoQ10 program is to conduct a bioavailability study in humans to measure efficacy under rigorous standards.  If results from the human studies show elevated levels of CoQ10 in plasma following the consumption of the drink, this evidence should support the commercialization of a CoQ10 functional drink with a multinational partner.  

This is the first potential commercial application for the company’s PGX technology and we believe that there is substantial value in the commercialization of a CoQ10 product extension that currently has sales of over $400 million (according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc.).  With an aging population, the potentially increased bioavailability of Ceapro’s product and further clinical research supporting efficacy and market acceptance, we see the potential size of the market to be materially larger in coming years.  


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