Thursday, February 25, 2016
Brazil-Arab News Agency, 2/23/2016
Dubai – A first-timer at Gulfood, the food industry expo running until the 25th in Dubai, Pharma Nectar, a company from Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, is offering a rather unique product for a trade show of this type: a propolis-based dental gel. The result of ten years of research and testing, the gel fights mouth infections in cancer patients. The company is exhibiting at the pavilion organized by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).
“Worldwide, 6% of patients with head or shoulder cancers die from opportunistic infections of the buccal cavity,” explained CEO José Alexandre Silva de Abreu. The gel was developed in partnership with the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and the University of Campinas (Unicamp).
According to him, radiotherapy, a treatment for fighting cancerous cells, causes burns on the salivary glands, rendering patients unable to produce saliva. “The saliva controls mouth microbes, and without it, bacterial counts soar,” he pointed out.
The product was launched in 2013. The following year, it won Phama Nectar the Apex-Brasil Prize for Export Excellence in the micro/small business category. According to Abreu, the gel’s development cost roughly BRL 4 million (USD 993,488 at current exchange rates). It is a natural, preservative-free product and can be ingested.
“Propolis has antibacterial, healing and anti-inflammatory properties, and it boosts patient immunity,” said director Sheila Abreu. The product is currently sold in the United States, Greece, France, Japan and Korea. In the Us, a 90 gram tube sells for USD 40 on average.