Ideal Health Biotechnology, LLC, joined the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis to accelerate research and development of their dietary supplements made from naturally occurring, plant-based compounds.
Ideal has an antioxidant spray made from grape seed extract available in China. A second generation of the spray is in development. They are also working on an algae mist and eye vitamin. Their products are designed to help with digestion, eye disease and diabetes, particularly in the elderly.
Ideal Health is leasing office space on the third floor of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building that is part of an existing laboratory suite. Later this year, they plan to expand into the adjacent laboratory, giving them a total of 500 square feet with an option to lease additional space as the company grows.
Lei Wu, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ideal, and administrative assistant Maggie Li anticipate expansion of space and staff due to the demand from Chinese consumers for naturally-sourced, dietary supplements formulated and manufactured under stricter US regulations.
Parent company Ideal Shanghai already manufactures dietary supplements and other home health devices and products for Chinese markets. They have established distribution networks throughout China and exceeded over $50 million USD in sales. Bill Wang, the president of Ideal Shanghai, visited the NCRC last year and quickly decided to locate the company’s first US office and laboratory on the campus.
“In China,” Wu said, “our strength is in manufacturing and sales. We do not have as many capabilities as far as developing new formulations and doing the testing like they have here. The NCRC is like a gold mine with scientists, scholars and equipment.”
Wu has met several scientists from the eight UNC-system universities represented on the NCRC. He is looking forward to working with them to develop their findings on everything from phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables to brain development and cancer biology into marketable products.
“The NCRC is a great place for our company to grow through research partnerships,” Wu said. “There are a lot of resources here for us, and we are grateful for the opportunity. If the NCRC wasn’t here, we wouldn’t be in the US.”
“Ideal brings to the NCRC the opportunity to marry the research our scientists are conducting with experts in product development and marketing,” said Mark Spitzer, vice president of operations for Castle & Cooke North Carolina and mission support for the NCRC. “Ideal’s work reflects the campus’ mission and will build their business, support our scientists and, most importantly, bring nutritionally-based products to market that will help people live healthier lives.”