Queenstown is hosting more than 1000 researchers and scientists at Queenstown Research Week this week, New Zealand’s biggest annual scientific gathering, and Comvita Limited is co-sponsoring the first Honey Research symposium at the Kai mō Aotearoa (Food Science) Satellite alongside the High Value Nutrition (HVN) National Science Challenge.
Associate Professor Troy Merry, Comvita’s Head of Research, co-hosted a series of seven talks with Prof. Richard Mithen (HVN and Liggins Institute).
At this years event, Comvita and its research collaborators shared new ground-breaking research into the potential health benefits of LepteridineTM and Mānuka Honey and the biodiversity benefits of Comvita’s Mānuka planting programme:
LepteridineTM: Professor Kerry Loomes (University of Auckland) outlined new research showing that Comvita LepteridineTM, a drug-like compound found uniquely in Mānuka honey, can inhibit MMP-9, a key enzyme known to be implicated in the formation of gastric ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases.
This research has led to Comvita patenting novel formulations of Mānuka honey for the treatment of digestive disorders that are now undergoing Clinical Research. Professor Nicole Roy (University of Otago and HVN Digestive Health Science Theme Leader) outlined the $1.4M Soothe Clinical Trial, into the effectiveness of LepteridineTM Mānuka honey treatment in people with functional dyspepsia, a common digestive disorder with limited treatment options.
Results of the trial, expected in 2024, will enable Comvita to launch new, proprietary, LepteridineTM Mānuka Honey products to millions of people worldwide looking for an effective natural treatment, proven by science to support their digestive health.
Antimicrobial Resistance: Dr Jonathan Cox, from Aston University in the UK, presented new scientific research showing that Mānuka honey can kill antimicrobial resistant bacteria and improve the efficacy and safety of existing antibiotics. Comvita is supporting this new research as it may enable it to deliver new, more effective, treatments to help in the global fight against the increasing threat of antibiotic resistant infections.
Biodiversity: Finally, Callaghan Innovation Career Grant recipient, Georgia Woodall, a Research Scientist at Comvita, shared her masters’ thesis work showing that Mānuka forest planting improves the biodiversity and water quality compared to pasture land. This important work is the first to scientifically show the ecological benefit of Comvita’s Mānuka forest programme impact on the environments that we work in.
“The high value of the Mānuka honey category was built on seminal research into its potent antibacterial activity and remarkable wound healing properties published nearly 3 decades ago.” Assoc. Prof Merry said.
“Comvita understands the value of science and nature working together in Harmony, this is why we invest more than any other company in our industry in science. We are excited to be leading the next wave of transformational research on Mānuka honey that will unlock even greater value.”
Comvita Chief Science Officer, Dr Jackie Evans, says, “We are particularly excited to be undertaking Clinical Research looking at how Comvita’s LepteridineTM Mānuka honey can improve digestive health and look forward to sharing the results early next year.
“At Comvita, we are applying leading science and collaborating with the best researchers from around the world to understand and deliver the true potential of Mānuka honey to help heal and protect the world. When it comes to the science of Mānuka, only nature knows more.”