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NBTY, Inc. Appoints Harvey Kamil President, Scott Rudolph To Continue As Chairman And CEO

BOHEMIA, N.Y. - NBTY, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBTY), a leading manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplements, today announced it has appointed Harvey Kamil as President of NBTY. Scott Rudolph will continue to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Harvey Kamil has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since joining NBTY in 1982. He holds a BBA and an MBA and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. Additionally, Mr. Kamil currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the National Nutritional Foods Association.

NBTY Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott Rudolph stated, "As the Company has grown, we have broadened our management team. Harvey's knowledge of NBTY and the nutritional supplement industry will continue to provide us with the momentum to deliver on our key objectives. He will remain the Chief Financial Officer and manage all aspects of finance and administration."

ABOUT NBTY NBTY is a leading vertically integrated U.S. manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of high-quality, value-priced nutritional supplements in the United States and throughout the world. The Company markets more than 1,500 products under several brands, including Nature's Bounty(R), Vitamin World(R), Puritan's Pride(R), Holland & Barrett(R), Nutrition Headquarters(R), American Health(R), Nutrition Warehouse(R) and Dynamic Essentials(R).

CONTACT:
Harvey Kamil,
President and Chief Financial Officer
NBTY, Inc.,
+1-631-244-2020;
Carl Hymans
G.S. Schwartz & Co.,
+1-212-725-4500,
[email protected],
for NBTY, Inc. 

Adding Vitamin C To Certain Drugs May Help Treat Alzheimer's, Other Brain Disorders

Drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders appear to enter the brain more easily when a vitamin C molecule is attached, according to researchers in Italy. The discovery could lead to safer and more effective drugs that target the brain, they say.

The study is tentatively scheduled to appear in the Jan. 31 print issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. It was published in the Web edition of the journal on Dec. 21.

“We’ve opened a door for a promising new way to improve delivery of drugs into the brain using a natural nutrient, ascorbic acid [vitamin C],” says Stefano Manfredini, lead investigator in the study and a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Ferrara in Ferrara, Italy.

Some drugs that have difficulty entering the brain could cross more easily when attached to a vitamin C molecule, while some that cannot enter the brain could enter for the first time, he says. Potential applications include drugs for central nervous system diseases, viral infections (including AIDS), brain lesions, and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and epilepsy, Manfredini says.

He calls the results “exciting,” but cautions that the data are very preliminary. So far, animal tests of at least one of the vitamin C modified drugs appear promising, but no human tests have been conducted. The new design approach will not enhance the effectiveness of all drugs, while those that do work could take several years to reach the consumer market, the researcher predicts.

One of the major problems in the treatment of brain diseases is the difficulty of distributing drugs to the central nervous system. This is due to a natural barrier, the blood brain barrier, which selectively regulates the movement of chemicals across the brain.

Researchers have known for some time that adding new components to drugs may improve their ability to cross this barrier. For example, glucose and amino acid units have allowed improved penetration into the blood brain barrier for some drugs, according to researchers.

Researchers recently discovered the existence in some cells of a new receptor, the SVCT2 transporter, which is believed to play a major role in regulating the transport of vitamin C into the brain, where vitamin C is found at high concentrations. Manfredini and his associates theorized that adding a vitamin C component to certain therapeutic drugs would facilitate their transport across these receptors and their entry into the brain.

To test their theory, the researchers studied three different compounds that are used to treat brain disorders — ranging from epilepsy to Alzheimer’s — but are known to have difficulty crossing the blood brain barrier. Those compounds are nipecotic acid, kynurenic acid and diclofenamic acid. Researchers tested the compounds in the laboratory using human retinal pigment epithelial cells, which are rich in vitamin C transporters. This laboratory model has the same SVCT2 transporter as the blood brain barrier, allowing researchers to predict drug transport across the blood brain barrier in humans, they say.

Adding a vitamin C component to each of these three compounds significantly improved their ability to interact with the vitamin C transporter. While nipecotic and kynurenic acids normally cannot interact with the transporter, the same drugs with a vitamin C component added can interact. Although diclophenamic acid normally blocks the vitamin C transport, the same drug with a vitamin C component interacts with the transporter without blocking vitamin C. The results suggest that this approach may improve drug delivery in actual living organisms, the researchers say.

To test the effect of a modified drug in an animal model, the researchers chose nipecotic acid, which cannot easily enter the blood brain barrier in its normal form. Using a group of mice that had been chemically induced to have convulsions, the researchers injected the normal molecule into the mice. This had no effect on their convulsions. When a vitamin C modified version of the drug was injected, convulsions were delayed, demonstrating the improved performance of the drug, the researchers say.

Side effects in the mice were very limited and no deaths were reported, they say.

Additional animal studies of vitamin C modified drugs are anticipated, Manfredini and his associates say. They have filed a patent for their discovery.

The researchers also believe that the in vitro cell model of vitamin C transporters used in this study will serve as a valuable tool to study one of the many mechanisms by which ascorbic acid works in the body, a mystery scientists have yet to fully understand. An understanding of these mechanisms could provide insights into many of the controversial health claims regarding vitamin C, they say.

The university and the National Institutes of Health provided funding for this study. Source: American Chemical Society

New Enfamil LIPIL(TM) the First and Only Infant Formula to Contain Additional Nutrients Important to Babies' Mental and Visual Development Lipil is a Unique Blend of DHA and ARA -- Nutrients Also Found in Breast Milk,

EVANSVILLE, Ind., -- Mead Johnson(R) Nutritionals is introducing a new infant formula with additional nutrients that have been clinically shown to support the mental development and visual acuity of infants. Called Enfamil LIPIL(TM), it is the only formula in the United States to include a unique blend of the nutrients DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid), important building blocks of brain and eye tissue. This major innovation in infant nutrition will be on store shelves beginning in early February.

These nutrients are provided to babies in utero and found naturally in breast milk, but have never before been included in infant formula in the U.S. Enfamil LIPIL's proprietary formula includes DHA and ARA derived from natural sources that are the only ones recognized by the FDA for use in infant formula.

"This is tremendously exciting and it represents a real breakthrough in infant formulas," said Alan Greene, MD, FAAP, a practicing pediatrician and attending physician at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University. "Experts agree that breast milk is the gold standard in infant nutrition, but many moms do not breastfeed. For those mothers, Enfamil LIPIL provides an excellent alternative and mothers can feel confident that no formula is closer to breast milk," said Greene.

Favorable Fats
Some fats -- and components of fats (fatty acids) -- offer a number of health benefits. There is growing evidence that the fatty acids DHA and ARA at the levels in Enfamil LIPIL are important for mental and visual development in infants.(1)(2)

During pregnancy, a growing baby will receive DHA and ARA from the mother -- this is especially important during the last trimester when there is significant brain growth. Breastfed babies also receive these nutrients; however, the levels they receive depend on the mother's diet. Breastfeeding mothers can increase the amount of DHA in their breast milk by eating foods like salmon, tuna and sardines.

Scientists have known that infants could synthesize DHA and ARA from precursors in infant formula (other fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid). However, some recent research has convinced many experts that not all babies can make enough of these nutrients from these precursors to support optimal development.

"Since rapid infant brain development occurs in the early months of life, a number of researchers believe that a direct dietary source of DHA and ARA at that time can be beneficial for brain and retinal development," said James W. Hansen, MD, PhD, neonatologist and medical director for Mead Johnson Nutritionals. "Therefore, Enfamil LIPIL represents a major innovation in infant nutrition in the U.S."

DHA- and ARA-enriched formulas have been fed to babies around the world for more than five years. Currently, formulas containing these nutrients are available in more than 60 countries, including the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Several international organizations -- including expert panels sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization and by the Child Health Foundation -- recommend the addition of these nutrients to infant formula.

Promoting Brain Development
A study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, published in 2000, found that infants given Enfamil LIPIL performed better on a mental development test compared to infants who consumed the control formula without DHA and ARA.(1) Infants who were fed the new formula with these nutrients scored an average of about seven points higher on the 100-point scale on the mental development test at 18-months of age. The study with Enfamil LIPIL was led by Eileen Birch, PhD, of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest in Dallas, who has studied DHA and ARA for 15 years.

A 1998 study published in The Lancet and led by Peter Willatts, PhD, from the Department of Psychology, University of Dundee, U.K., further supports the benefits provided by DHA and ARA.(3) That study showed that at 10 months of age, infants who had been fed formula supplemented with these nutrients scored better on a test assessing complex problem solving skills when compared with infants fed formula that was not supplemented.

Enhancing Eye Development
DHA is a major structural component of the retina of the eye. It makes up as much as 60 percent of the fatty acids in certain phospholipids of the outer segments of the rods in the retina.

Several studies of infants fed DHA- and ARA-enriched formula have shown more rapid rates of visual development compared to infants fed unsupplemented formula. The advantage is equivalent to about one line on a standard eye chart during the first year of life, according to the Birch study using Enfamil LIPIL.

Nutrient Levels May Affect Results
More than 20 studies have been conducted over the last 10 years with infants fed DHA- and ARA-fortified formula. Some of these clinical studies have not shown incremental developmental benefits. Experts disagree as to why some of these studies found different results. Possible explanations, among others, may relate to variations in study design -- for example, the sensitivity of the testing methods and the ages of the infants being studied. Also, studies not showing incremental benefits typically did not use formula supplemented with the two nutrients at the levels found in Enfamil LIPIL. The levels in Enfamil LIPIL are comparable to global averages found naturally in breastmilk.

In every study, the group of children who received DHA- and ARA- supplemented formula performed as well or better on tests of visual and mental development compared to infants fed unsupplemented formula. Studies measuring potential long-term benefits of these nutrients in infant formula are not yet completed.

New Benefits for Babies
Enfamil LIPIL will begin appearing in hospital nurseries and on retail store shelves beginning in early February, 2002. Consumers can visit enfamil.com or call 1-800-BABY-123 for assistance in locating Enfamil LIPIL at a store in their area.

Consumers looking for more information about DHA and ARA and Enfamil LIPIL should talk to their baby's doctor, visit enfamil.com or call 1-800-BABY-123.

Enfamil infant formula is manufactured by Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a world leader in nutrition, recognized for developing and marketing high quality products that meet the nutritional needs of children and adults of all ages. Mead Johnson Nutritionals is a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

(1) Birch EE, Garfield S, Hoffman DR, Uauy R, and Birch DG: A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 2000, 42:174-181.

(2) Birch EE, Hoffman DR, Uauy R, Birch DG and Prestidge C: Visual acuity and the essentiality of docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid in the diet of term infants. Pediatric Research 1998; 44:201-209.

(3) Willatts P, Forsyth JS, DiModugno MK, Varma S, and Colvin M: Effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in infant formula on problem solving at 10 months of age. Lancet 1998; 352:688-691.

SOURCE Mead Johnson Nutritionals

CONTACT:
Pete Paradossi
of Mead Johnson Nutritionals,
+1-812-429-7800,
[email protected] ,
or Amy Heinemann
of Weber Shandwick,
+1-312-988-2293,
[email protected] ,
for Mead Johnson Nutritionals

Web site: http://www.enfamil.com

Editorial: An Exercise in Synergy

Although the pace of breaking industry news is not overwhelming right now, there's enough going on to suggest that industry participants are hard at work on brand strategy, reaching consumers with effective messages, streamlining their organizations and implementing that solution that will put them over the edge in differentiation. This is a period where eyes are focused on regulatory issues, with kava and ephedra in the spotlight. New GMP's for Natural Health Products in Canada are entering a three month comment period prior to a two year implementation period, and the industry in the US is gearing up for its first shows of 2002.

Highlighting the news over the past week are a couple of patent announcements, product licensing deals and new personnel appointments. The first two are significant because of the new market potential they indicate, and the third significant because change is inevitable. The industry and environment we operate in now will be different tomorrow.

There are pressures and stresses facing the industry from many directions, challenging us to operate outside the box, gather intelligence and use it effectively. Sometimes, the intelligence and model we need is totally outside our sector or current understanding. It's often difficult to accept this and we may operate with tunnel vision, cliques and a lack of open-mindedness.

Early next month, Nutritionals 2002 is being held in Anaheim, and a glance at the agenda and seminars tells the tale on key issues the industry needs to address during the year. From Codex to the FDA, from effective branding to emerging science, from product development to GMP, from reaching consumers with the right message to strengthening relationships with suppliers--these are the pertinent business issues to consider.

This agenda is meaningful because the participation comes from various groups who may in the past have been at cross purposes. It's extremely important that these groups ally on key and critical issues and show a united front, and even more importantly, not add any confusion. It's also meaningful, because it shows that one of the key elements that will be addressed as the industry develop and matures is education, hopefully to see tangible signs of progress in 2002.

When we say education, this doesn't mean solely educating the consumer on the merits of dietary supplements. It also means allocating resources to educate our own industry, raising baseline levels of understanding on issues such as organizing and managing research and clinical studies, analytical techniques and the difficulties and differences between testing raw materials and finished products. It also means communicating the benefits as well as the limitations of present systems designed to standardize, certify and authenticate or validate products and processes. It may in fact, be establishing definitions of such ambiguous terms as quality, GMP and analysis.

Communication is critical and events such as 'Nutritionals 2002' have an important role to play. On the flip side, the recipients of information (readers, attendees and viewers) need to learn. Documents, publications (print and on-line), releases and reports are appearing in increasing numbers with good information, all of which can be effectively used to raise the understanding of different perspectives of issues. All the way along our industry supply chain, from primary raw material producers to those putting products on store shelves, there is a responsibility to have a greater understanding of our products today than we had yesterday.

For those of us with information to share, while we need to protect our intellectual property and yes, our business, we have a responsibility to contribute to raising that baseline. I am sure many of us are now aware of the ongoing issue of potential kava adverse events being assessed by the FDA, with support from industry associations. While it could be argued that the industry is being unduly pressured and the regulatory authorities are being unduly critical in this and other instances, what cannot be argued is the initiative and responsibility that the industry must take to show that it is mature, worthy of support, organized and supported by an open and free flow of information.

While the industry itself may be facing unfair perception and criticism, so long as there remain individuals and companies in our industry able to operate outside FDA, FTC or other bodies, the the work isn't done, and we need to make sure our house is in order. Education plays a strong part here too, and I know that many industry experts have taken a role in communicating common labeling issues or clarifying terms such as GRAS. Yes, their ultimate objective is to garner business and clients, but establishing credibility by providing information to benefit the industry, raise baseline understanding and education is an excellent approach.

I think we would all benefit if there were more of this type of sharing and communication.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the NPIcenter Discussion Forum

Ross Products to Launch Infant Formula Supplemented With Two New Fatty Acids

COLUMBUS, Ohio, -- The Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories has announced plans to launch an infant formula supplemented with two fatty acids that function as nutritional building blocks in brain and eye development. The U.S. launch is targeted to take place early in 2002. The two fatty acids -- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) -- are found in small amounts in breast milk. Infants are also able to make these fatty acids from the essential fatty acids in their diets.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently had no objections to the addition of a source of DHA and ARA in term infant formulas in the United States. Ross is in final discussions with the FDA to market an additional Similac(R) With Iron product supplemented with DHA and ARA. Internationally, Abbott has been selling infant formula products supplemented with DHA and ARA for some time.

The health and development of breastfed infants form the gold standard of infant nutrition. Two of the largest studies published to date have shown that term infants fed either today's Similac(R) With Iron or Similac(R) With Iron supplemented with DHA and ARA showed visual and cognitive development like that of breastfed babies.(1)(2)

"We are always listening to health care professionals and parents, and some of them have told us that because DHA and ARA are in breast milk, they want a Ross product supplemented with DHA and ARA," said Ann Bair, vice president, infant formula marketing. "By introducing an additional Similac(R) With Iron product with added DHA and ARA, we are responding to this request. Parents can be reassured that today's Similac(R) With Iron supports visual and mental development like that of the breastfed infant."

"As a leader in infant nutrition, Ross is looked to by health care professionals and parents for sound nutrition information and guidance, as well as advances in nutritional products," said William C. MacLean Jr., M.D., vice president, Medical and Regulatory Affairs. "There are important differences in infant formulas. For example, studies show today's Similac(R) With Iron provides greater calcium absorption and greater bone mineral density than the other leading formula. In addition, both Similac(R) With Iron and Similac(R) With Iron supplemented with DHA and ARA support growth and visual and mental development similar to that of breastfed babies. Outcomes from some studies suggest formulas from other manufacturers may need added DHA and ARA to achieve these same visual and mental development results that are available in today's Similac(R) With Iron."(3)

Ross Products has been a leader in infant nutrition for more than 70 years. Ross' Similac(R) With Iron is the first choice infant formula of doctors. Ross is dedicated to conducting the research that ensures that formula-fed infants receive the highest quality products to meet their nutritional needs.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals, and medical products, including devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 70,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. In 2000, the company's sales and net earnings were $13.7 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.78.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com .

(1) Auestad N, Halter R, et al. Growth and Development in Term Infants Fed Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: A Double-Masked, Randomized, Parallel, Prospective, Multivariate Study. Pediatrics. 108:372-381, 2001.

(2) Auestad N, Montalto MB, et al. Visual acuity, erythrocyte fatty acid composition, and growth in term infants fed formulas with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids for one year. Pediatric Research. 41:1-10, 1997.

(3) Birch EE, Hoffman DR, Uauy R, Birch DG, Prestidge C. Visual acuity and the essentiality of docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid in the diet of term infants. Pediatric Research. 44:201-209, 1998.

SOURCE Abbott Laboratories

CONTACT:
Media, Mary Beth Arensberg, Ph.D., R.D.,
+1-614-624-3948,
or Erin DeSimone, M.S., R.D.,
+1-312-596-3424,
or Financial Community, John Thomas,
+1-847-938-2655,
all for
Abbott Laboratories

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NPIcenter’s Career Center targets nutraceutical Industry

NPIcenter and Berg Recruiting, Naturally Inc. Form Strategic Alliance to Offer On-line Recruiting for the Nutraceutical Industry

Launch special –free one month posting!

www.NPIjobs.com , offers the most direct and targeted Career Center in the industry.

The center is growing in popularity, complementing the HR consulting and recruiting solutions offered by Berg Recruiting, Naturally.

www.NPIjobs.com , provides on-line solutions to attract qualified personnel in the dietary supplements, nutraceutical, food, pharmaceutical, and cosmeceutical industries.

As a launch special, we are giving eight companies the opportunity to post positions for one month absolutely free. There no obligation and as a bonus, your company logo or image will appear in a block along the right hand side of the Career Center page.

To take advantage of this special limited time offer, e-mail us the position and contact information at [email protected] (Offer expires February 1st, 2002.)

Hire the best at www.NPIjobs.com!

Health Canada requests recall of certain products containing Ephedra/ephedrine

Advisory:

Source: Health Canada

OTTAWA- Health Canada is requesting a recall from the market of certain products containing Ephedra/ephedrine after a risk assessment concluded that these products pose a serious risk to health. Adverse events including stroke, heart attacks, heart rate irregularities, seizures, psychoses and deaths have been reported in association with the use of some products containing Ephedra/ephedrine. Ephedra refers to several related species of herbs. Ephedrine is one of many chemical derivatives of this herb.

This voluntary recall deals with products that are marketed without approval. These include:

Ephedra/ephedrine products having a dose unit of more than 8 mg of ephedrine or with a label recommending more than 8 mg/dose or 32 mg/day and/or are labelled or implied for use exceeding seven days;

all combination products containing Ephedra/ephedrine together with stimulants (e.g. caffeine) and other ingredients which might increase the effect of Ephedra/ephedrine in the body. A full table of ingredients containing caffeine is attached to this advisory;

Ephedra/ephedrine products with labelled or implied claims for appetite suppression, weight loss promotion, metabolic enhancement, increased exercise tolerance, body-building effects, euphoria, increased energy or wakefulness, or other stimulant effects.

Health Canada advises those Canadians who may be consuming these products to stop using them, and return them to their points of sale. Canadians suffering from heart conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes are among those particularly at risk.

Currently, the maximum allowable dosages for Ephedra/ephedrine in products is 8 mg ephedrine/single dose or 32mg ephedrine/day. Products containing Ephedra which are marketed for traditional medicine, will continue to be available, provided they do not contain caffeine and that the ephedrine content does not exceed 8 mg/dose to a maximum of 32 mg/day.

If a consumer has concerns about a product with a Drug Identification Number (DIN), and is not sure if the recommended dosage exceeds the 32 mg ephedrine/day dose limit, they should consult with their pharmacist. Consumers who identify remaining products on the shelves can call their regional Health Canada offices to report complaints. Their contact information is provided as an attachment.

Health Canada is issuing letters to Canadian manufacturers, distributors and importers requesting that they discontinue sale of these products and that the products be recalled from all levels of the market, including retail. A customs lookout has also been issued, to ensure that these products are not imported into Canada.

A health advisory was issued by Health Canada in June of last year, advising Canadians not to use products containing the herb Ephedra, in combination with caffeine and other stimulants, for purposes of weight loss, body building or increased energy. At the time of that advisory, 60 adverse events had been reported in Canada related to the use of Ephedra/ephedrine. Since then, a product which combined large doses of ephedrine with caffeine has been reported as a contributing factor in one death in Canada.

Health Canada will be issuing a regulatory letter to manufacturers of products which exceed this recommended dosage. Products with DINs that are being sold as nasal decongestants and have doses equal to or less than the upper limits of 8 mg ephedrine/dose and 32 mg ephedrine/day will continue to be available.

Health Canada will continue to monitor reports of adverse events associated with Ephedra/ephedrine, and will take further action if necessary. A random market survey will be undertaken within 6 months of the requested recall to determine whether these products have found their way back onto the Canadian market. Non-compliant products will be removed from the shelves.

- 30 -

Nutraceutix, Inc., Nutravite Announcement Commercial Availability of CDT™ Glucosamine for Canadian Marketplace

Introduction of Patented CDT™ Technology to Non-U.S. Marketplace

REDMOND, WA - Nutraceutix, Inc. (OTC BB: NUTX), a leading provider of patented technologies and products for the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, has entered a licensing agreement with Canadian-based Nutravite to package, market and distribute Nutraceutix's Controlled Delivery Technology (CDT™)-Glucosamine and CDT™-Glucosamine-Chondroitin products in the Canadian marketplace. For Nutraceutix, the agreement extends its patented CDT™ Glucosamine products to the growing Canadian market with the assistance of Nutravite, an established and growing manufacturer of herbal and dietary supplements company. Nutravite, an ISO9002 certified and Therapeutic Products Program (TPP) inspected company, will expand its established Glucosamine franchise by offering unique once-daily dosage Glucosamine products and technologies under the Nutravite label to the Canadian health food market, retail pharmacies and mass merchandisers.

According to Farid Ibrahim, President and CEO of Nutravite, "We are very excited about the opportunity to add Controlled Delivery Glucosamine products to our line. It fits well with our corporate strategy. Nutravite takes pride in its history of being first to market with leading-edge natural health products. The CDT Glucosamine products offer a clear therapeutic advantage over what is currently available in the Canadian marketplace." For more information, visit the Nutravite website at: http://www.nutravite.com/.

David T. Howard, President and CEO of Nutraceutix, adds, " We are gratified that Nutravite has rapidly succeeded in listing the CDT™-Glucosamine products with such stores as Wal-Mart Canada, Herbies, Hy & Zels, Pharma Plus, and Pharmx Rexall. This is our first CDT™ product to be offered outside the United States, and its acceptance by major Canadian retail pharmacy chains is encouraging validation. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with Nutravite, and appreciate their efforts to make our patented CDT technology available to Canadian customers."

Based in Redmond, Washington, Nutraceutix, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company leveraging specialized knowledge, proprietary and patented products and technologies such as LiveBac® Probiotics and the patented CDT™ Controlled Delivery Technology platform to introduce distinctive and novel OTC products, prescription drugs and dietary supplements.

Nutraceutix technologies provide distinctive products with tangible benefits for the consumer and competitive commercial advantages for retailers. Established partnerships with pharmaceutical, OTC and natural products industry companies enables Nutraceutix to co-develop new products and to add value and protection to existing product franchises. For more information on Nutraceutix, please call 1.800.548.3222 or visit http://www.nutraceutix.com/.

Except for any historical information, the matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements, including activities; events or developments that the company expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statement.

Top GNC Executives Tour Pittsburgh Market to Present New Business Plan and Expansion Possibilities; Meeting will focus on new business strategies and growth

PITTSBURGH --General Nutrition Companies, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, today announced a cross-country tour of top franchising markets, including Pittsburgh to meet face-to-face with local franchisees to discuss growth over the last 3 years in their market and in the industry in general, new business-building initiatives and the opportunity for local expansion including incorporating GNC's new smoothie bar concept into local stores.

During the annual, local meeting, Pittsburgh-based franchise operator, Scott Hood will be honored with the Highest 2001 Sales Award for the Pittsburgh market.

Russell L. Cooper, GNC Franchising's Senior Vice President and General Manager, said, "We are excited to visit our franchisees, roll up our sleeves and work on what we can do together to grow their businesses."

Cooper and other top GNC Franchising executives will meet with existing GNC franchisees in the Pittsburgh area to present new business plans and marketing initiatives. Among them, GNC's newly expanded seven-day Gold Card program that allows Gold Card members to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on purchases made during the first seven days of every month and the company's new Mix and Match Buy One, Get One 50 percent off program.

Mr. Cooper added, "Now, more than ever, Americans are more health conscious and are demanding high-quality products for healthy living. To meet that consumer need, we have identified the Pittsburgh market as a place where it makes good business sense to expand the GNC franchise opportunity to qualified candidates. We are confident that markets such as Pittsburgh offer solid opportunities for expansion as part of our plan to award 90 new franchise stores around the U.S. in 2002."

GNC Franchising was named by Entrepreneur magazine as the number one franchise in the vitamin and nutritional supplement sector for the 13th consecutive year. In the last 90 days, GNC has awarded forty-three stores; thirty of those stores have gone to existing franchise operators.

GNC offers comprehensive support: site-selection, a three-phase training program, and a unique global intranet support system that provides GNC franchisees with on online training and product information, as well as operations, training and local marketing tools to help them meet their financial objectives. GNC's extensive franchise experience and support, combined with GNC's proven operating system and established brand presence, has resulted in the company rising to the top among industry franchise opportunities. It is the mission of GNC Franchising to be a worldwide leader in franchising by developing the world's highest quality support service and awarding license agreements to qualified candidates who share its growth and customer service objectives.

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including 1,360 domestic franchise locations, and 26 foreign markets, including Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a worldwide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's operations include manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries and research facilities in The Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., China, Australia and the USA.

More information about GNC and franchising opportunities is available from GNC Franchising, Inc., call 1-800-766-7099, visit the website at www.gncfranchising.com or email to [email protected]

CONTACT:
Media: Miller DeMartine Group
Annette Powers
718/768-1911
[email protected]

Tantivy Sciences Obtains Exclusive License to Unique Nutraceutical Products

Newly Licensed Supplement Improves Blood Flow and Assists With Age Related Skin Damage

Tantivy Sciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Bridge Inc. (OTCBB:DGBI) today announced the execution of an exclusive distribution license with V-Tech LLC, a California biomedical company that develops medical foods, dietary supplements, and pharmaceutical applications to non-drug products.

V-Tech has granted Tantivy Sciences an exclusive license to two products: Vasodyne and Natural Smokeless. Vasodyne, the newest product licensed by Tantivy Sciences, is designed to raise facial temperature to provide increased blood flow by increasing the brain chemical nitric oxide. Clinical trials have demonstrated that the increased facial blood flow brought about by the Vasodyne product provides several benefits, including reducing wrinkles and improving age-related skin damage.

In August 2001, Tantivy Sciences (F.K.A. DB Capital Management) licensed Natural Smokeless. Natural Smokeless is a unique dietary supplement that increases the synthesis of neurotransmitters that are depleted by nicotine. It is designed to suppress nicotine cravings, and thus help smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. Clinical trials have established a significant reduction in nicotine cravings in smokers who used Natural Smokeless, which resulted in fewer cigarettes smoked. The Natural Smokeless product was formerly licensed through a joint venture, which was discontinued by Tantivy Sciences in favor of a direct licensing arrangement.

"This product license truly exemplifies what Tantivy Sciences is all about," stated Tantivy Sciences Managing Director Ron Friedman. "We are obtaining exclusive rights distribute truly unique and exciting products, and introducing them to the $49 billion U.S. nutrition industry. We are only interested in the highest quality products, backed by significant research and proven clinical studies. V-Tech is a perfect partner for us, as the science behind their products is second to none."

The V-Tech products were developed using a proprietary process, known as "targeted cellular technology," which allows certain amino acids to target and enter nerve, brain and muscle cells in order to selectively produce neurotransmitters without pharmacological tolerance. Several proprietary products have been developed through this patented process, all of which directly affect specific neurotransmitter functions. Neurotransmitters control all of the automatic functions of the body, including heart rate, breathing, mood, sleep, temperature, memory, mental acuity, and muscle strength.

About Tantivy Sciences Inc.
Tantivy Sciences is a comprehensive nutraceutical and pharmaceutical development, distribution and management company that manufactures and distributes ground-breaking nutraceutical products through retail, wholesale, direct marketing, and online channels, and also offers a beginning-to-end manufacturing and distribution solution to physicians and other scientists who have developed new and unique health-related nutritional products. No other company can lay claim to such a powerful and effective product line, comprised of proprietary nutritional formulas designed by respected physicians, and backed by rigorous scientific research and clinical studies.

About V-Tech LLC
V-Tech is a biomedical company in the business of developing medical foods, dietary supplements, and pharmaceutical applications to non-drug products. The company's principal business objectives are: (1) the development and commercialization of proprietary non-drug medical foods sold through participating physicians in the United States; (2) the international licensing and commercialization of proprietary non-drug medical foods and dietary supplements into direct consumer and mass consumer markets; and (3) the licensing of intellectual property rights to major pharmaceutical companies.

Statements regarding financial matters in this press release other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company intends that such statements about the company's future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, the anticipated stock dividends and all other forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Since these statements (future operational results and sales) involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the company's actual results may differ materially from expected results.