A New Orleans startup with Baton Rouge ties announced this morning the launch of a new prebiotic dietary supplement that helps curb hunger, manage blood sugar levels and promote overall GI health.
Called BiomeBliss, the product is a natural, berry flavored powder that mixes with water to produce a drink designed to nourish and protect the trillions of bacteria that live in the intestinal tract, which are known as microbiomes.
BiomeBliss is the product of New Orleans-based Biome Therapeutics, which is co-owned by nationally renowned obesity expert Mark Heiman and company CEO Dale Pfost, a biotechnology entrepreneur.
Heiman was educated at LSU in the late 1970s, before going on to become chief scientific officer for obesity research at Eli Lilly Research Labs. He has spent the past decade developing BiomeBliss, which was tested in two clinical trials in 2015 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
“Pennington has been a wonderful help to us,” Pfost says. “They held us to the standard they use in pharmaceutical trials, even though this is not a pharmaceutical but a nutritional supplement.”
BiomeBliss is made with nutrients isolated from blueberries, agave and oats, and supplies key prebiotics to the GI microbiome that are often missing from modern diets, according to Pfost. Prebiotics differ from probiotics in that they serve as food for the healthy microorganisms in the large intestine. Probiotics, on the other hand, are the bacteria supplied in fermented food products like yogurt.
“It’s a meal supplement that provides your body with the nutrient that it needs,” Pfost says. “As such, it cuts down on hunger and regulates healthy blood sugar levels.”
The company raised several million dollars in venture capital funding several years ago to conduct clinical trials and product development, Pfost says. BiomeBliss will initially be sold online through the company’s website and will be marketed on social media and through the use of a network of professionals in the fields of nutrition and diabetics.
“We have a network of registered dieticians and certified diabetics educators, who work in clinics and hospitals,” Pfost says. “We will be expanding over time.”
Eventually, the company plans to expand into more traditional brick-and-mortar retail locations.
Chairing the company’s board of directors is LSU alumnus John Elstrott, former chairman of the board of Whole Foods Market and recently retired professor from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.