Digest. Absorb. Nourish.
Alcresta is delivering novel enzyme-based products for those living with rare diseases. Our technology platform efficiently and consistently immobilizes (binds) enzymes and attaches them to a wide range of insoluble carriers. The enzymes-carrier complex is used to support the digestion and absorption of critical nutrients in liquid formula. Because of the unique immobilization technology, the enzymes remain active even while adhered to the carrier.
About fat malabsorption
Why fatty acids matter
Fatty acids such as EPA and DHA are essential building blocks of human health. They are referred to as essential or good fats because they are necessary for normal organ development and functioning, immune support, as well as cardiovascular and brain health.
Fatty acids can only yield their health benefits after they are broken down into absorbable form and digested. That’s why fat malabsorption, which is the inability to break down and absorb fats, is a barrier to good health. It can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms including:
- abdominal pain
A common disorder with many causes
Fat malabsorption has many causes, including cystic fibrosis, acute/chronic pancreatitis, abdominal surgery, short bowel syndrome, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), trauma/critical care, pancreatic cancer, and other cancers/treatments. It may also be caused by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).
The impact of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or EPI, is a condition characterized by deficiency of exocrine pancreatic enzymes, resulting in the inability to digest food properly. EPI is most commonly associated with cystic fibrosis, acute pancreatitis, and the NICU (where babies may have underdeveloped pancreatic function), but EPI is also seen in a variety of rare diseases.
Children are most vulnerable to the consequences of untreated EPI and a delayed diagnosis often results in growth and developmental delays in addition to poor quality of life.
The consequences of fat malabsorption and EPI are significant, and often devastating
Weight loss/inability to gain weight
Proprietary iLipase® platform
Alcresta’s proprietary enzyme immobilization technology contains iLipase, the digestive enzyme lipase attached to polymeric microbead carriers, and is stored within a device that easily connects in-line to the patient’s enteral feeding tube. The patient’s formula passes through the device and makes contact with the iLipase, which breaks down the fat in the formula into an absorbable form (fatty acids and monoglycerides) prior to ingestion. The iLipase remains in the device and is not ingested by the patient. Pre-hydrolyzed fatty acids and monoglycerides are not available in existing enteral formulas because they are unstable and spoil quickly.
The innovative iLipase has been shown to break down fats in enteral feeding tube formulas, including long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and arachidonic acid (AA), which are critical for growth and development, yet very difficult to break down.
The digestive enzyme lipase is attached to polymeric microbead carriers and is stored within a device without being ingested by the patient.