IRVINE, Calif., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ChromaDex® Corporation (OTCBB: CDXC), an innovative natural products company that provides proprietary, science-based solutions and ingredients to the dietary supplement, food & beverage, animal health, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, and marketer of its branded, patented pterostilbene, pTeroPure®, announced today it has licensed exclusive rights to several patents related to the recently discovered vitamin found in milk, Nicotinamide Riboside (NR). The intellectual property licensed from Dartmouth includes protection for human uses of NR as well as methods to produce NR via fermentation of engineered yeast strains.
In 2004, Dr. Charles Brenner, then of Dartmouth College, discovered NR as an additional vitamin precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is made available by nicotinamide riboside kinases (Nrk), conserved between yeast and humans. In 2007, Brenner's group discovered a second pathway by which NR is converted to NAD and showed that NR can extend the lifespan of yeast cells by virtue of elevating NAD levels and increasing the activity of the NAD-dependent Sir2 enzyme. Dr. Brenner's group has exploited discovery of the complete set of NR metabolizing enzymes to engineer a yeast strain that converts inexpensive NAD precursor vitamins into NR. Dr. Brenner's gene discoveries and characterization of the NAD metabolome have shed light on the distinct pathways by which human cells utilize distinct NAD precursor vitamins. Groups worldwide have added to Dr. Brenner's seminal discoveries in providing evidence for unique properties of NR in neuroprotection, sirtuin activation, protection against weight gain on a high fat diet, and improvement of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.
NAD is arguably the most important cellular co-factor for fuel utilization and conversion to cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP). NAD precursor vitamins, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, were discovered in 1938. Collectively termed niacin or vitamin B3, these compounds in low doses prevent pellagra (a vitamin deficiency disease caused by lack of niacin). High dose nicotinic acid is the most effective agent for regulation of plasma lipids as it reduces levels of harmful LDL cholesterol particles and free fatty acids while elevating levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. The mechanism of action of nicotinic acid is not understood. Its widespread use is limited by an uncomfortable side effect termed "flushing" or rapid onset of redness to the face or other parts of the body.