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Past News Items - June 2022

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In the News

The Institute for Functional Medicine Releases 2020-2021 Annual Report, Highlighting Impact of Critically Important Mission-Driven Work

High Potency Probiotic May Decrease Depressive Symptoms in Depressed Patients

Xlear Teams Up With Dr. Ferrer BioPharma to Bring a Better User Experience to Nasal Hygiene

Released: June 2022

The Institute for Functional Medicine Releases 2020-2021 Annual Report, Highlighting Impact of Critically Important Mission-Driven Work

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) released its highly anticipated 2020-2021 Annual Report showcasing critically important mission-driven work to empower confident and competent practitioners of functional medicine, advance health equity, increase access, and improve the overall delivery of patient care. This is the organization’s inaugural annual report and covers the impact and financial information for both 2020 and 2021.

Collaboration is vital to the transformation of health care, and it is through our partnerships that we can create real change together,” states Amy R. Mack, MSES/MPA, IFM CEO. “We are proud to share along with our partners the incredible stories of impact through training practitioners in functional medicine, expanding access to functional medicine for practitioners and patients and supporting the functional medicine field in research and clinical patient care.”

Demand for functional medicine is at an all-time high, as recognized in some of the report’s 2020-2021 noteworthy data:

  • In 2020 and 2021, IFM saw more than 18,000 registrations for IFM’s training programs.
  • 536 practitioners received IFM certification, bringing the number of certified practitioners to nearly 1,800. Many of these have come from our military partners. More than 110 military practitioners have completed IFM training, an additional 134 military members have taken our foundational course, and 89 more have become IFM certified practitioners.
  • Currently, more than 3,000 candidates are actively pursuing IFM certification.
  • IFM’s Find a Practitioner database receives more than one million unique visitors per year.
  • IFM awarded more than $1.66M in program scholarships, discounts, and tuition assistance, including a 50% reduced tuition student rate so that young medical professionals may begin their functional medicine curriculum alongside their academic and residency programs.
  • In 2020 and 2021, IFM revenues exceeded expenses despite the unprecedented challenges faced, further demonstrating the increasing demand for functional medicine education and training.

Functional medicine provides practitioners with a framework to deliver a deeper level of care that not only addresses complex chronic conditions, but guides patients towards a higher expression of health and well-being. During 2020 and 2021, safety measure related to COVID-19 required necessary adjustments to the work of the organization. IFM leaned into the disruptive changes in the healthcare landscape and leveraged those challenges as an opportunity to broaden and increase access, education, and training. IFM became, and continues to be, a trusted resource for evidenced-based information to address conditions related to the SARS-CoV-2 infection and reaffirmed its role in providing the gold standard in functional medicine education and training.

This first ever report also demonstrates IFM’s transformational work through collaborations, highlighting partnerships with academic institutions, large health systems, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. Through this work, functional medicine access is being integrated into a greater number of clinics, academic medicine settings, and vulnerable and medically underserved communities than ever before.

IFM is creating transformational change in health care for individuals around the globe. Learn more about the organization’s impact and read the full annual report at IFM.org/AnnualReport.

About IFM

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is the global leader in functional medicine and a collaborator in the transformation of health care. IFM is a nonprofit organization that believes functional medicine can help every individual reach their full potential for health and well-being. Founded in 1991 and dedicated to the widespread adoption of functional medicine, IFM works to advance education and training, clinical patient care, research, and outcomes in functional medicine worldwide. For more information, please visit IFM.org.

About functional medicine

Functional medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. The functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness.

Released: June 2022

High Potency Probiotic May Decrease Depressive Symptoms in Depressed Patients

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Translational Psychiatry finds the Visbiome® high-potency probiotic (containing the De Simone Formulation) may lessen symptoms of depression in patients with depressive disorder. The concept of using probiotics in depressive disorders has been the subject of growing interest in recent years as scientists have learned more about the linkage of the gut microbiome and certain neurobiological pathways, also known as the "microbiome-gut-brain axis." No one knows for sure how gut bacteria can influence behavioral health, but human and animal studies suggest the microbiome may be influencing certain neurobiological processes. Previous studies in humans have established certain benefits in psychiatric outcomes but many of the studies were limited to small sample sizes and certain design limitations. This new study provides some of the most robust clinical outcomes with a probiotic in depressive symptoms to date.


The study was conducted at the University Psychiatric Clinics Basel in Switzerland and enrolled patients with current depressive episodes. Patients were recruited to the study and evaluated based on a clinical depression rating scale called the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). The probiotic used in the study is an 8-strain blend of bacteria administered in an extremely high dose of 900 billion live bacteria per dose (sold as Visbiome in the US and Vivomixx in Europe.) In addition to customary treatments for depression, patients in the study consumed either the probiotic or a matched placebo.


The study results demonstrated that, over time, patients on the active probiotic exhibited decreased depressive symptom outcomes relative to the placebo (when patients complied with the treatment). Brain imaging showed that neural activity in the putamen, a region involved in emotional processing and associated with depression, decreased after probiotic supplementation. Moreover, the gut microbiome in the treated patients was also found to contain more friendly Lactobacillus species, which was associated with decreased depressive symptoms.


"These results are very encouraging as we seek to understand the impact of probiotics in the field of mental health," said Dr. André Schmidt, of the University of Basel and senior author of the study. "The crucial next step is to validate our findings in large-scale clinical studies and to identify biomarkers for stratified treatment guidance."


Based in part on these results from Europe, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is planning a pilot clinical trial with the same probiotic agent in adolescents with clinical depression. That pilot trial is expected to start later this year.  


About ExeGi Pharma

ExeGi Pharma LLC is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of live biotherapeutic and probiotic medicines. ExeGi's team leverages scientific expertise in the field of microbiome science to deliver novel, clinically supported live biotherapeutic and probiotic products for a variety of unmet health and medical needs. ExeGi is headquartered in Rockville, MD.


About Visbiome

Visbiome (De Simone Formulation) is available in the U.S. as a medical food for the dietary management of dysbiosis associated with IBS, ulcerative colitis (UC), pouchitis, and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Visbiome contains live, lyophilized, probiotic cultures for oral administration in doses of 112.5 billion to 900 billion live bacteria. The De Simone Formulation is sold under the name Vivomixx® in Europe.

Released: June 2022

Xlear Teams Up With Dr. Ferrer BioPharma to Bring a Better User Experience to Nasal Hygiene

Recent Study on Computationally-Guided Intranasal Spray Protocol to Augment Therapeutic Penetration With Implications Shown for Effective Treatments for COVID-19, Rhinitis, and Sinusitis

May 16, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

AMERICAN FORK, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Xlear announced a new partnership with Dr. Ferrer BioPharma (DFBP), which will make Xlear nasal spray the first nasal hygiene tool to deploy the GentleMist nozzle—the next generation nasal spray technology that research shows achieves better compound dispersion and coverage and a better user experience.

Nasal cleansing studies have found that rinsing the nose and nasal cavity is an important tool for improving health and wellbeing. Numerous clinical and lab studies have found that nasal hygiene is an important adjunct in countering rhinositus, as well as a range of bacterial and viral infections.

New research, published by The European Society of Medicine found that the GentleMist nozzle achieved more uniform and more complete dispersion of nasal sprays into the nose and nasal cavity. The study also found that the new nozzle was gentler and significantly improved the user experience over typical nose spray technologies. You can read the full study by clicking here: Evaluation of Patient Experience for a Computationally-Guided Intranasal Spray Protocol to Augment Therapeutic Penetration: Implications for Effective Treatments for COVID-19, Rhinitis, and Sinusitis | Medical Research Archives (esmed.org)

Traditionally nasal sprays have just had a standard pattern where the spray shoots straight up the airway in the direction it is sprayed. The new nozzle is very gentle and the spray is applied in a vortex/whirlpool pattern. This is extremely important and beneficial for Xlear and their customers as it allows Xlear’s mix (saline, xylitol and grapefruit seed extract) to be applied much more effectively and completely to the nose and nasal cavity.

“For more than twenty years, millions of people have been using and benefiting from our nasal spray and we are extremely excited to make this new technology available to them to improve their user experience. We realize that if washing our nose every morning and evening is uncomfortable, or irritating or hurts in even the slightest way we are not going to have people wash their nose enough to where it will make a difference. If it hurt us every time we washed our hands…or brushed our teeth, we wouldn’t be doing that enough either. Just like washing our hands, taking a shower and brushing our teeth, washing our nose is an added layer of protection to keeping us clean and healthy…and breathing better all day,” said Xlear CEO Nate Jones.

Xlear is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

About Xlear

Founded in 2000, Xlear, Inc. is recognized as the leading manufacturer of natural, proactive health care products with xylitol. Xlear is committed to providing consumers with the highest quality products while striving to educate medical and dental professionals, as well their patients, about how using xylitol instead of sugar can help people live a much healthier and happy life. Xlear is supported by a team of doctors, hygienists and scientists who advocate the use and benefits of xylitol through continuous clinical research. Xlear, Inc. offers Xlear Nasal Spray, an award-winning, patented saline and xylitol nasal solution; a complete line of oral health products offered under the Spry Dental Defense System; and Lite&Sweet, a xylitol and erythritol sweetener used as a sugar substitute in cooking, baking and general consumption. For more information visit www.xlear.com.

About Dr. Ferrer BioPharma

Dr. Ferrer BioPharma are the leading innovators in intranasal medications to treat cough, colds, flu, and allergies. Dr. Ferrer BioPharma uses advanced nanoparticle technology to bring high-quality, evidence-based, consumer-focused, and doctor-invented products to the market. The mission is to provide to the market evidence-based therapies combining new ideas with proven concepts in the service of helping people. From molecules to the delivery of effective therapies to treat the populations we serve, Dr. Ferrer Biopharma is designing top-of-the-line intranasal treatments to help people breathe better. For more information visit www.drferrerbiopharma.com.

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