Innovative medical nutrition developed by Vitalnext aims to improve health of malnourished elderly and make their muscles stronger

November 15, 2016

PRESS RELEASE, PPM Oost, Apeldoorn, November 14, 2016

PPM Oost invests,via Topfonds Gelderland, in the development of Vital01 to improve the quality of life of elderly and to reduce healthcare costs

It is the goal of Vitalnext that by taking a few portions per day of Vital01, an innovative nutrition for special medical purposes,  undernourished elderly may faster regain body weight and experience improvement of muscle mass. The medical nutrition is developed by Vitalnext BV, a Wageningen based company. It has the ambition to give older people worldwide a better quality of life and to significantly reduce healthcare costs. Partly by an investment from Topfonds Gelderland provided by ‘Participatie maatschappij East Netherlands’ (PPM Oost) Vitalnext expects to introduce Vital01 on the market next year. 

Malnutrition amongst elderly is a growing problem, according to Rein Strijker CEO and founder of Vitalnext. He refers to a report of the Dutch National Health Council which shows that 25 percent of people over 65 is malnourished. ”Those people have no feeling of hunger, but their physical condition is worsening. Consequently, they will move around less. Yet ,it is the combination of nutrition and exercise that will reduce the breakdown of muscles and support building muscles.” The decrease in muscle mass means less power and a decline in immune function. This might lead to a vicious cycle when, for example, an elderly person falls and breaks a hip. “The physical condition will worsen even faster when this person is in a poor nutritional status ” says Strijker.

Increasing healthcare costs
Malnutrition not only has medical consequences for the elderly, it also increases healthcare costs considerably. Strijker: “Malnourished elderly get sick more often and recover more slowly. Thus, hospital or nursing home stays are more frequent and last longer in the elderly population. The increasing life expectancy means that these costs will grow substantially.” The additional hospital costs for malnutrition in Netherlands are estimated at € 1.1 billion and the additional cost of nursing and care homes more than € 500 million. “And worldwide the Netherlands is even a small market,” says Strijker.

Powder formula
Several large nutrition companies have products (in small bottles) against malnutrition on the market. Vital01 also contains all necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to combat malnutrition. However, Vitalnext adds, using its biochemical background, ingredients that stimulate the absorption of proteins. This should result in a reduced breakdown of muscle tissue and an increased muscle mass build up. Vital01 is a powder formula and can be added to hot and cold liquids, such as milk, fruit juice, broth and yogurt. Strijker: “with five bags per day, people will get all the necessary nutrients and after five to eight weeks of use, elderly people should not only have gained body weight, but also be stronger and in better condition. ” 
Vital01 is currently being tested in cooperation with Wageningen University & Research in a group of people over 65. If that study turns out well, the medical nutrition will be introduced to the market next year. The powder based formula will only be available on prescription by a doctor or dietitian.

 Healthy ageing
PPM Oost-Director Marius Prins welcomes the growing number of applications of life sciences-developments in the food industry. “Food has a great impact on our lives. With our food we can combat numerous health problems. In the case of Vitalnext that is good for the growing group of elderly people, while the healthcare costs will be reduced as well with the use of medical nutrition. Treating malnourished elderly effectively will mean a huge reduction of costs worldwide. ” PPM Oost invests in Vitalnext through its revolving fund ‘Topfonds Gelderland’,. Prins: ” ‘healthy ageing ‘ and ‘quality of life ‘ are major themes. Through this investment in Vitalnext we can make a direct contribution to these themes.” PPM Oost invests in Vitalnext together with management, Galapagos NV, Van Herk Ventures, LRM NV and Hanzepoort.

Topfonds Gelderland
Topfonds Gelderland is a revolving investment fund of the province of Gelderland, managed by fund manager PPM Oost. From this fund PPM Oost invests in innovative companies and projects in the field of economics, sustainable energy supply and cultural entrepreneurship in the province of Gelderland, in cooperation with co-investors by either direct investment in enterprises or through investments in market funds. The province of Gelderland provides a total of €166,25 million, made available via Topfonds Gelderland, of which € 31 million for fund investments and €135,25 million  for direct investments in companies in the province of Gelderland via subsidiary funds: Innovation and energy fund Gelderland (IEG), Fund SME credit facility Gelderland, Fund Restructuring business parks Gelderland (FHBG), Fund Leisure economy Gelderland (FGV) and Fund Cultural loans Gelderland (FGC). 

PPM Oost
Participatiemaatschappij Oost Nederland NV (PPM Oost) is a regional venture capital company that is part of East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NV). It establishes the necessary funding and its network, knowledge and skills available to entrepreneurs in High Tech, Life Tech, Cleantech & Energy and also invests in market funds. In addition, PPM Oost helps entrepreneurs to innovate, internationalize and develop (business) infrastructure. 
PPM Oost stands for active management and coaching: responsibility for the society of the future. With money from the national Government and the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel and region of Twente, PPM Oost invests in over 220 companies with a total fund of more than 300 million euros. This leads to a contribution to achieving regional, economic, environmental and employment objectives.

More information:
Vitalnext – Rein Strijker, CEO, +31 6 53 91 26 61, r.strijker@vitalnext.com, www.vitalnext.com
PPM Oost – Bart Hoeflaak, senior investment manager, + 31 6 20 30 13 13, bart.hoeflaak@ppmoost.nl, www.ppmoost.nl