We’re pretty sure we can measure the bioactivity of almost anything.
‘Bioactive’ is one of those tricky terms… it can mean many things to many people.
Trinity Bioactive’s definition of it is a compound that does something to living tissue.
Trinity’s expertise is to prove that products such as skin cream, honey-based products, green-lipped mussel powders, oils, and other mostly natural products, ‘do’ something. They use other scientists’ internationally published, peer-reviewed methods to verify that product X has Y effect, which they show as evidence of bioactivity.
Trinity solves the problem of many health product companies and developers of being able to demonstrate that their products work.
To this end, Trinity reckons that it can measure the biological presence and activity of almost anything, if it exists.
Research Director and CEO Paul Davis is tempted to say that there’s no product or extract whose biological activity Trinity can’t measure. But, being the experienced biomedical researcher that he is, he prefers to err on the side of caution.
The Wellington-based laboratory, with satellite offices in Melbourne and Salt Lake City, uses assays or models as a proxy to establish that an extract, mixture, compound or product has biologically active and available properties.
The company’s team is consists mostly of PhD holders, who uses almost 200 assay models to measure a diverse range of biological potencies and efficiencies. Many are cell cultures — stomach cells, tumors, or cell models that measure diabetic or skin responses.
“All of our methodologies are peer-reviewed, and written up and published in reputable international scientific and medical journals,” says Paul. “When we put together our study protocols, we cite the papers the methods are based on.”
The studies consist of mostly natural products including the safety, toxicology, and efficacies of honey, bee propolis, dairy products, green-lipped mussels, traditional medicines, emu oil and other oils, and a number of other raw materials.
Manufacturers of nutraceuticals, functional foods, skin care compounds, over-the-counter internet products, supermarkets, and health food stores are among the global clients for whom Trinity carries out its specialized tests.
These clients include companies:
- developing new processing methods to improve their products
- looking for useful functionality from their biological waste streams
- investigating new activities for existing bioactives and products
- investigating the possible synergistic effect of combining two or more compounds
“Everything we do is customized to the clients’ requirements,” says Paul. “This is based on a Study Plan; an agreement and approval of what and how we are going to measure a biological presence and response. After the conclusion of the study, a confidential report is supplied back to the client.”
“That’s why our conversations with clients beforehand are so important. We’re aware of the latest regulations out of Europe or the USA, we’re up with the latest modeling research, we appreciate a client wants authentic and verifiable data to provide them with an evidence-led, marketing story.”
Davis says that the experience, methodologies and consultancy practices developed over the company’s 22-year history are major factors in providing cost-effective proof of bioactivity.
The other advantage of operating in a tightly connected, highly-educated, well-regulated market such as New Zealand is that Trinity Bioactives is able to link into the expertise of other researchers and science providers. These include the universities (including the medical schools), the crown research institutes, other R&D companies and institutions and clinical trials groups. “We have a real concentration of facilities and expertise quite close to us,” says Paul.
“We know what we and others can do, and can tap into that. It means that when someone asks if we can do something, we don’t need to say no, as if it is not in our portfolio, we know someone who can help. We just need a day or two to work on a plan. We almost invariably get back with a way we’d provide scientific evidence and proof of what they wish to validate.”
“From a bioactivity point of view, there’s not much that we or our networks can’t scientifically measure and validate,” says Paul.
“We have expertise, connectivity, and can answer important questions for clients about their products… We realize that our clients are seeking data to assist the marketing of their products and we are happy to assist.”
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