Salixin and the university recently finished a pre-study with 70 patients but will kickstart a full clinical trial early next year, with results set to be finalised by the end of 2020.
Willow bark a ‘natural medicine’
Presenting to attendees at last month’s SEPAWA Congress in Berlin, Søren Fisker, managing director and partner at Salixin, said the company already incorporated its COSMOS certified fermented willow bark extract, also organic and locally-grown, as a functional ingredient into a range of cosmetics categories, including oral care – used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and oral care serums.
The willow bark extract, Fisker said, contained the active ingredient salicin and derivatives that had a proven anti-inflammatory effect and could be used also to relieve pain. Using a fermented extract then added an important oral care angle, he said, because it reduced candida albicans yeast – a common fungus detected in the gastrointestinal tract and mouth.
“Willow bark has been used for centuries,” Fisker said. “The Native Americans used willow sticks for tooth ache and problems with gums. Willow bark has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine,” he told attendees.
Salixin had conducted extensive in vitro microbiological tests on its fermented extract, he said, proving that the mix of actives reduced candida albicans yeast by about 83% after 24 hours.
“We changed the balance of the microorganism in the oral care – we don’t kill anything, just change it.”
Efficacy trials for bioactive chewing gum
Fisker said Salixin had recently partnered with Danish private label manufacturer Fertin Pharma who was interested in using the extract to make a bioactive chewing gum, prompting the firm to team up with the university of Copenhagen for human efficacy trials.
Recommended use of the willow extract in chewing gum, he said, was about 50mg per piece and use in other oral care products 4-6%.