By now you’ve probably heard the news: Reliv now holds the exclusive rights to the intellectual property behind lunasin! The announcement came on opening night of the Reliv 25 Conference in Orlando. In this installment of Science & Health Today, we examine exactly what that deal means by answering your most frequently asked questions.
What are the basics of the agreement?
Reliv International has entered into an exclusive license for the intellectual property of Soy Labs LLC related to the nutritional ingredient lunasin. The license covers an issued patent and several patent applications related to lunasin and soy-related peptides, proprietary information and manufacturing processes. Further, the arrangement allows certain Soy Labs employees to join the Reliv corporate staff.
So is Reliv the only place you can get lunasin?
Yes and no. Lunasin is a naturally occurring peptide found in seed-bearing plants. Since soy is such an excellent source of protein, it is also a superior source of lunasin. Lunasin is part of nature, so holding the exclusive rights to all lunasin would be like holding the rights to oxygen.
But not all lunasin is created equal – not even close. The concentration and bioavailability of lunasin among soy foods (soy milk, tofu, etc.) and other sources varies dramatically. And no other source can match the concentration and bioavailability of the lunasin found in Reliv products.
What Reliv does have exclusive rights to is the lunasin produced through a proprietary extraction process developed by Soy Labs. No one else has been able to effectively extract bioactive lunasin of such quality and in such concentration. Reliv is now way ahead of the curve in harnessing the power of this clinically proven superfood.
What lunasin patent is now transferred to Reliv?
Lunasin’s mechanism of action for reducing LDL cholesterol, first identified by Dr. Alfredo Galvez, has received a U.S. patent. That patent is now the intellectual property of Reliv. This means that no other company can promote soy’s lunasin-based cholesterol-lowering properties like Reliv can.
The agreement also delivered to Reliv multiple patents pending in the U.S. and abroad.
What else does Reliv get out of the deal?
Reliv gets exclusive rights and direct control over the entire LunaRich X™ production process and technologies. Reliv also now owns a proprietary bioassay that effectively determines the amount of bioactive lunasin available after digestion – the only test of its kind. It is this test that gives Reliv the unique ability to guarantee the bioavailability of lunasin in our LunaRich® products.
Looking forward, the agreement opens up opportunities for further research and development with lunasin and other plant-based ingredients.
Which Soy Labs employees join Reliv?
All members of Soy Labs’ lunasin innovation team have broken away from Soy Labs to form a new business entity: SL Technologies. SL Technologies is now a subsidiary under the Reliv corporate umbrella. SL Technologies staff includes:
- Lead Scientific Advisor Dr. Alfredo Galvez
- President Ryan Schmidt
- Chief Operating Officer Andrew Birney
- Executive Assistant Tina Van Horn
- Administrative Assistant Johnda Darby
- Special Projects Coordinator Tamara Shenouda
We’ve always endeavored to remain on the cutting edge of nutrition science in formulating our products at Reliv. And with the acquisition of the intellectual property behind lunasin, we are now leading the industry in the budding field of nutritional epigenetics. Lunasin is one of the first nutritional compounds identified to affect gene expression and promote optimal health at the epigenetic level.
New research shows that through nutrition people can influence which genes are expressed. Reliv is committed to building on this emerging science and developing nutritional solutions that help people take control of their health.
Epigenetics has hit the mainstream, and we believe nutritional epigenetics will soon follow. We’re beyond excited about what Reliv’s acquisition of lunasin-related technologies will mean for our Distributors and consumers around the globe.
To your health,
Carl W. Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer