A new “diabetic” nutritional fiber recognized by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and shown in clinical data to slow the body’s absorption of sugar and improve overall blood sugar levels is just now finding its way into products catering to America’s millions of diabetics – and in the process is creating a sizeable market opportunity for top companies like Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM), Glucose Health, Inc. (OTC: GLUC) Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK) and even Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY).
According to the latest 2020 statistics compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 34.2 million Americans are diagnosed diabetics, with 90% having preventable, adult onset diabetes, also known as Type-2. Four years ago, Archer Daniels Midland Co. submitted dozens of clinical studies to the FDA concerning an entirely new form of nutritional dietary fiber it was developing, certain to find a market with America’s growing diabetic population. FDA issued new regulations with the effect that ADM’s dietary fiber can be referred to as such, finally paving the way for introduction of new food and beverage products containing its special fiber. According to MarketBeat.com, Stifel Nicolaus issued an updated buy rating on ADM on April 1, 2020, with a $49 price target.
Among the first products to reach retailer shelves utilizing ADM’s innovative new fiber is GlucoDown, made by Glucose Health, Inc. (OTC: GLUC). Using a special manufacturing process, the company “agglomerates” ADM’s fiber together with tea powder. The result is America’s first “healthy” diabetic iced tea. GlucoDown quickly gained the attention of buyers at Walmart and the product is now stocked at Walmart’s superstores nationwide. Not surprisingly, with iced tea the most popular of all non-carbonated soft drinks and millions of diabetics to sell to, Glucose Health, Inc. (OTC: GLUC) reported record revenues in its annual report filing last month.
For decades, Procter and Gamble’s (NYSE: PG) Metamucil brand has helped consumers with what P&G politely terms, “regularity”. But it turns out the very type of nutritional fiber used in Metamucil – psyllium – has also shown similar positive effects on blood sugar metabolism as ADM’s fiber, in clinical research. The FDA has approved a qualified health claim for psyllium, allowing the statement that the fiber reduces the risk of Type-2 diabetes, but with the caveat that the clinical data reported, is from relatively few studies. On March 30, Jefferies upgraded PG to a buy, according to MarketBeat.com.
A third form of diabetic fiber, found in Benefiber, manufactured by the consumer product arm of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), also has clinical data indicating promising benefits related to blood sugar metabolism although no health claims have yet been submitted to FDA. And now, even CBD companies have gained a foothold in the market to serve diabetic consumers. Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), one of the world’s largest medical cannabis suppliers, acquired start-up hemp fiber company Manitoba Harvest last year, in a deal worth $317 million. CBD devotees passionately advocate that hemp fiber has benefit for persons with diabetes. However, to date, clinical studies and FDA applications have yet to been undertaken.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) announced an ambitious new plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and its energy intensity by 15 percent by 2035. “Every single day, ADM is focused on keeping its employees healthy and safe while simultaneously ensuring we are continuing to support the world’s food supply,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano.
Glucose Health Inc. (GLUC) announced a 224% sales increase year-over-year from its Amazon store. Amazon awarded GlucoDown® an “Amazon Choice” designation and GlucoDown® routinely leads Amazon’s consumer search results for the diabetic drinks category.
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) will webcast a discussion of its third quarter earnings results on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Media and investors may access the live audio webcast at www.pginvestor.com beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The webcast will also be available for replay.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. announced they have signed a binding agreement to enter into a collaboration to research and develop solutions for coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The collaboration will use Vir’s proprietary monoclonal antibody platform technology to accelerate existing and identify new anti-viral antibodies that could be used as therapeutic or preventative options to help address the current COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks.
Tilray Inc. (TLRY) reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. “Our full year results demonstrate strong sales growth momentum, which we expect to continue in 2020,” said Brendan Kennedy, Tilray’s Chief Executive Officer.”
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