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New Illuma HMO Growing-up Infant Formula Now Available throughout China

Wyeth becomes the first foreign company that sells HMO infant formula added with two HMOs in China

SHANGHAI, Dec. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Wyeth Nutrition announced that its first illuma HMO growing-up infant formula added with two human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) is now available throughout China, which makes Wyeth Nutrition the first multinational company that sells the HMO infant formula in the market just two months after two HMOs were newly authorized as food additives by China’s National Health Commission (NHC). Prior to that, the company is also the first foreign company that manufactured HMO infant formula in China, just one month after NHC’s approval, at the company’s GMP-level factory in Suzhou. Now, Chinese consumers can order the first HMO infant formula added with two HMOs in China via various channels, including the illuma flagship store on Tmall, the Wyeth flagship store on JD.COM, and numerous offline stores across the country.

The growing-up infant formula added with two HMOs can better meet the nutritional needs of Chinese babies

On October 7th, 2023, the NHC announced the approval of two HMOs, 2′-fucosyllactose (2′-FL) and lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT), as new food additives in formula products, and HMOs quickly became the focus in China’s infant formula industry. Many brands were competing to launch HMO-containing formulas. Wyeth Nutrition was the first foreign company in China’s infant formula industry to respond to that announcement. It took the lead to launch the first illuma HMO growing-up infant formula in November. This expanded the brand’s portfolio of premium growing-up infant formulas and provided a new option containing ingredients that can modulate immune responses for Chinese babies. The product is now available across channels in China. People can order it from the official flagship store of illuma on Tmall and JD.COM, as well as various physical stores. This new product is designed to provide multiple nutrients for babies above 3 years old.

There has been positive feedback from many consumers instantly. Ms. Xu from Ningbo bought the product without a blink, because she was convinced by the product’s immune-boosting function. “Many kids are coughing in school due to seasonal change this time around. But my baby has active and strong immune system. And the taste of the formula is very much liked by the baby, too!” Ms. Meng from Qingdao said, “There would be a high risk of respiratory diseases in fall and winter each year. My daughter’s immune system has been boosted after using this formula.” Some people working in baby formula field also spoke highly of this product. Ms. Wang Yun, the senior vice president of Babemax said: “Wyeth illuma has been innovating to provide the best nutrition for babies. After the Chinese Government approved the two HMOs, Wyeth illuma reacted quickly by launching the first HMO growing-up infant formula. The new product enables preschool babies to be better prepared for kindergarten. As the first foreign company to sell an HMO growing-up infant formula, Wyeth also raised the bar for innovation in the industry and set the direction for the industry’s future.”

As preschoolers are about to enter kindergarten and start visiting crowded places more often, their risk of infections increases dramatically. Since their immune systems are still developing, including their skin, digestive system, and respiratory system, they are more prone to seasonal discomforts like abdominal pain, and need to receive comprehensive nutritional supplements in advance. The illuma HMO growing-up infant formula is intended as a substantially improved nutritional option for preschoolers above 3 years old, providing a comprehensively upgraded nutrition solution for them to meet their nutritional needs for development and growth. HMOs are the third most abundant ingredients in breast milk after fat and lactose, and the number one immunomodulatory bioactive nutrients. They represent one of the major innovation focuses for infant formula around the world, and have been applied broadly worldwide. Clinical investigations proves that the two HMOs in the novel illuma HMO growing-up infant formula can significantly increase the number of bifidobacterium, and contribute to regulation gut microbiota, intestinal protection, low risk of bronchitis and respiratory infections, lessen the requirement for antibiotics and fever reducers, and comprehensively enhance immune system, so that babies will not be afraid of challenges such as contacting with people, seasonal weather changes. In addition, the illuma HMO growing-up infant formula is also added with 35 essential nutrients, to support immune system function which aid in eye and brain development, and to allow babies to grow stronger both physically and mentally in a new stage of their life.

Wyeth takes infant formula to the next level in China by leveraging its knowhow about HMOs

Wyeth Nutrition, a global leader in infant nutrition, has been relentlessly challenging science and pushing boundaries to deliver scientifically-advanced nutrition and personalized solutions for pregnant women, infants and young kids. Having studied the ingredients in human milk for over one hundred years, the company has produced many high-quality research results, to drive the development of human milk research. Over the course of its 30-year research career, Wyeth Nutrition has undertaken 55 HMO-related studies, completed over 30 clinical trials, over 70 research papers on the subject, and been given over 100 patents connected to HMOs, far ahead of its peers. Those studies, trials, papers and patents have provided a lot of scientific evidence for the development of nutritional products for infants and babies as well as for health education in China. By relying on Nestlé’s top-notch research system, Wyeth Nutrition became the first to understand the HMO composition and the benefits for the health of infants and babies, and also led the industry in developing HMO formulas.

To further understand the relations between human milk ingredients and infant health, Nestlé launched a global human milk research program called LIFE (Lactation for Infant Feeding Expertise). Under this program, the group has conducted 19 human milk studies in 20 countries involving 3,500+ participants and 10,000+ human milk samples. The research team has characterized and quantified HMOs in 20 countries around the world, including 3 cohort studies in China, which involve 9 collaborative centers, and the analysis of HMOs has been completed for at least 740 human milk samples. The production of many high-quality research results from Nestlé and Wyeth Nutrition has dramatically boosted HMO research in the world, making them the undisputed leader in this field.

Moreover, Nestlé and Wyeth Nutrition have already made HMO-containing products available in 70+ countries around the world. Those products are highly recognized across global markets, enabling babies of different regions and ages to benefit from them. In 2017, Wyeth Nutrition launched the first illuma HMO product in Hong Kong, to cause quite a stir for HMO formulas. After three rounds of iteration, the latest illuma LUXA is added with 6 essential HMOs, has the highest number of HMOs of any infant formula on the market at the present time and trusted by consumers and healthcare professionals (HCPs) alike.

Committed to the local maternal market and the “in China, for China” strategy

By quickly responding to the change in China’s maternal and baby care market and launching the illuma HMO growing-up infant formula added with two HMOs, Wyeth Nutrition again demonstrated its research and manufacturing strength in China as well as its determination to further tap into the Chinese market. For years, Wyeth Nutrition has been closely following the trend in health division of China’s maternal and baby care market, trying to have a deeper understanding of the differentiated needs in this market, and utilized its state-of-the-art technologies and global resources to speed up product development and formula upgrade. In the future, Additionally, Wyeth Nutrition will keep strengthening its local R&D, production, and supply chains in order to provide high-quality, high-standard products that satisfy the increasingly varied nutritional needs of Chinese customers.