Pharma

LifeHealth Science sets sights on OTC, prescription markets

Now that the detoxifying supplement of LifeHealth Science LLC is getting big in Asia, the Northeast Ohio startup is looking to build business in its own backyard. The company’s ZNatural supplement, which it says will remove harmful toxins from the body, began shipping to stores in the Cleveland area over the summer, and a similar product called ANatural is expected to hit the market before the end of the year.

Now that the detoxifying supplement of LifeHealth Science LLC is getting big in Asia, the Northeast Ohio startup is looking to build business in its own backyard.

The company’s ZNatural dietary supplement, which it says will remove harmful toxins from the body, began shipping to stores in the Cleveland area over the summer, and a similar product called ANatural will is expected to hit the market before the end of the year.

LifeHealth hopes the supplements will help pay the bills while it moves ahead with ambitious plans to launch a cancer drug and a diagnostic test for cancer in the coming years.

The eight-month-old company’s products are based on the work of biochemist Harvey Kaufman, who dedicated much of his research to the concept of “chelation” — the use of chemical agents to capture and remove toxins from the body.

Chelation has generated lots of controversy lately. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned eight companies that their over-the-counter chelation products are unapproved drugs and that they had made improper marketing claims.

The only FDA-approved chelation therapies are used to treat lead and mercury poisoning. Since it doesn’t claim that its products treat or cure any diseases, LifeHealth should have no problem avoiding the FDA’s wrath.

CEO Kent Adams said the company is conscious of what lines not to cross when marketing its supplements. “That’s something we look at very carefully,” Adams said.

Adams began working with LifeHealth shortly after the company was founded and seems like a natural fit, based on his background. He previously worked as chief operating officer for Mayfield Heights-based Ganeden Biotech, leading the OTC supplement supplier’s consumer push into what’s now 70,000 retailers nationwide.

Adams hopes to repeat some of that success with LifeHealth. The company’s supplements are sold widely through alternative health practitioners in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Phillipines. LifeHealth plans to begin its U.S. push by focusing on alternative health providers to sell its supplements, but eventually wants to get the products into drug stores.

“We feel that we can take our company ultimately into the mass retail business,” he said. “This is not a small niche. It’s a very significant business.” To begin raising awareness, the company plans to run a series of 30-minute radio infomercials in the Cleveland area, where it’ll be making its first major market push.

Longer term, the company hopes to gain regulatory approval to sell a drug it’s developing for lower body cancers like prostate, bladder and cervical. In animal testing, the drug has reduced the amount of tumor formation by about 60 percent, Adams said. It’ll likely be at least a few years before the drug heads to market, Adams said. In addition, LifeHealth is developing a test that’s designed to identify cancer cells in urine samples, Adams said.

“Those two have the potential to be way larger [than the supplement business], but it’ll take a few years for them to get to the market and gain acceptance,” Adams said.