Swedish probiotic tampons launched in China

ellen-tamponsA deal between Swedish biotech firm Ellen AB and Chinese company Beijing Zhonglian Pharmaceutical saw shares in the Scandinavian company soar last week on the back of an announcement to distribute probiotic tampons “bathed in human lactic acid bacteria” in the Asian country.

In just two hours following the agreement to launch the product, shares in Ellen AB rose by 39 percent on the First North stock exchange.

“We couldn’t have asked for better timing for Ellen’s launch in China,” said Ellen AB’s CEO Monica Wallter. “It’s incredibly positive that China’s ministry of health has started an education initiative which in the long run will mean that gynaecologists will be able to optimise their advice and treatment of Chinese women’s vaginal discomfort,” added Wallter.

Ellen AB first marketed its probiotic tampon in 2003, a product which contains natural fibres that have been treated with Lacto Naturel (LN). Lacto Naturel is said to feature a: “combination of patented benevolent lactic acid bacteria that can strengthen women’s defence against infections,” as reported by The Local.

Ellen claims that the tampons are a spin-off of an age-old household remedy that entails dipping tampons in yoghurt to reduce vaginal discomfort, adding that “all lactic acid bacteria in LN are of human origin and are the most common strains found in healthy women’s natural vaginal flora”.

The new deal will see Zhonglian begin its marketing campaign in mid-2010 in conjunction with educational programmes for Chinese gynaecologists as part of a wider push by the health ministry for better understanding of vaginal health. Up to 75 percent of Chinese women have been affected by vaginal discomfort with some 270 million women across the country being regular sufferers.

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