Bridging a Pharma-Like Innovation Gap in Medical Nutrition

  • Tamar C. Weenen
  • Kenneth Fernald
  • Esther S. Pronker
  • Harry Commandeur
  • Eric Claassen
Part of the AAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Series book series (AAPS, volume 12)


This chapter focuses on the current and possible future development scenarios for the medical nutrition industry. It starts off by exploring the definitions and characteristics of the pharmanutrition industries in the European health and life science sector. By taking conventional foods at one end of the spectrum, and pharmaceutical products at the other, the pharmanutrition industry can be split further into two categories falling within this spectrum: functional foods and medical nutrition. Section two exemplifies the developmental trends of the medical nutrition industry. Various industry life cycle scenarios are defined in order to forecast the direction in which this pharmanutrition industry could mature. Concepts such as the innovation cliff and jumping the S-curve are described, and strategies to overcome common bottlenecks are proposed. The last section describes patenting behaviour in the medical nutrition industry, offering a patent decision framework for intellectual property protection strategies. The chapter rounds off with a general discussion as to the successful future development of the medical nutrition industry.


Functional Food Radical Innovation European Food Safety Authority Health Claim Industry Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Asthana P (1995) Jumping the technology S-curve. Spectrum IEEE 32(6):49–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Beal GM, Bohlen JM (1956) The diffusion process. Increasing understanding of public problems and policiesGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Biesalski HK, Aggett PJ, Anton R, Bernstein PS, Blumberg J, Heaney RP, Henry J, Nolan JM, Richardson DP, van Ommen B (2011) 26th Hohenheim consensus conference, september 11, 2010 scientific substantiation of health claims: evidence-based nutrition. Nutrition 27(10):S1–S20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blind K, Edler J, Frietsch R, Schmoch U (2006) Motives to patent: empirical evidence from Germany. Res Pol 35(5):655–672. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2006.03.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brännback M, de Heer AJ, Wicklund P (2002) The convergence of the pharmaceutical and the food industry through functional food: strategic change and business opportunity or an illusion? Pharmaceut Pol Law 5:63–78Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bröring S, Martin Cloutier L, Leker J (2006) The front end of innovation in an era of industry convergence: evidence from nutraceuticals and functional foods. R&D Manag 36(5):487–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Commission Directive 1999/21/EC of 25 March 1999 on dietary foods for special medical purposes (1999) 1999/21/ECGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Commission E (2000) White paper on food safety. Office for official publications of the European communitiesGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Council Directive 65/65/EEC of 26 January 1965 on the approximation of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to medicinal products (1965) Accessed 1 Aug 2013
  10. 10.
    Curran CS, Leker J (2011) Patent indicators for monitoring convergence-examples from NFF and ICT. Technol Forecast Soc Change 78(2):256–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Danzon PM, Nicholson S, Pereira NS (2005) Productivity in pharmaceutical-biotechnology R&D: the role of experience and alliances. J Health Econ 24(2):317–339PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Diplock A, Aggett P, Ashwell M, Bornet F, Fern E, Roberfroid M (1999) The European comission concerted action on functional foods science in Europe (FUFOSE). Scientific concepts of functional foods in Europe. Consensus document. Br J Nutr 81:S1–S27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Domínguez B, Ganuza J, Llobet G (2005) R&D in the pharmaceutical industry: a world of small innovations. Available at SSRN 1001884Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Drucker PF (2006) Innovation and entrepreneurship. HarperBusinessGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dushnitsky G, Lenox MJ (2005) When do incumbents learn from entrepreneurial ventures?: Corporate venture capital and investing firm innovation rates. Res Pol 34(5):615–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    EFSA: European Food Safety Authority (2013) Accessed 2 Dec 2013
  17. 17.
    Elia M (2000) Detection and management of undernutrition in the community. A report by The Malnutrition Advisory Group (A standing committee of The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) MaidenheadGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Enriquez J, Goldberg RA (2000) Transforming life, transforming business: the life-science revolution. Harvard Business Rev 78(2):94–106Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ernst H (1997) The use of patent data for technological forecasting: the diffusion of CNC-technology in the machine tool industry. Small Bus Econ 9(4):361–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Eussen SRBM, Verhagen H, Klungel OH, Garssen J, van Loveren H, van Kranen HJ, Rompelberg CJM (2011) Functional foods and dietary supplements: products at the interface between pharma and nutrition. Eur J Pharmacol 668:S2–S9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Food (2013) Encyclopedia BritannicaGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Foster RN (1986) Innovation: the attacker’s advantage. Summit Books, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Georgiou NA, Garssen J, Witkamp RF (2011) Pharma-nutrition interface: the gap is narrowing. Eur J Pharmacol 651(1–3):1–8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.11.007 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gollin M (2008) Driving innovation; intellectual property strategies for a dynamic world. CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    van Gossum A (2001) Survey on legislation and funding of home artificial nutrition in different European countries. Clin Nutr 20(2):117–123PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Guidelines for use of nutrition and health claims (2009) Accessed 3 Jan 2013
  27. 27.
    Harrison C (2011) Patent watch: the patent cliff steepens. Nat Rev Drug Discov 10(1):12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jonas D, Antignac E, Antoine J, Classen H, Huggett A, Knudsen I, Mahler J, Ockhuizen T, Smith M, Teuber M (1996) The safety assessment of novel foods. Guidelines prepared by ILSI Europe Novel Food Task Force. Food Chem Toxicol 34(10):931PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jones GK, Lanctot A, Teegen HJ (2001) Determinants and performance impacts of external technology acquisition. J Business Venturing 16(3):255–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Khan RS, Grigor J, Winger R, Win A (2012) Functional food product development-opportunities and challenges for food manufacturers. Trends Food Sci TechnolGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kola I, Landis J (2004) Can the pharmaceutical industry reduce attrition rates? Nat Rev Drug Discov 3(8):711–716PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Leifer R, O'Connor GC, Rice M (2001) Implementing radical innovation in mature firms: the role of hubs. Acad Manag Exec 15(3):102–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Levin RC, Cohen WM, Mowery DC (1985) R & D appropriability, opportunity, and market structure: new evidence on some Schumpeterian hypotheses. Am Econ Rev 75(2):20–24Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lochs H, Allison S, Meier R, Pirlich M, Kondrup J, Schneider S, Van den Berghe G, Pichard C (2006) Introductory to the ESPEN guidelines on enteral nutrition: terminology, definitions and general topics. Clin Nutr 25(2):180–186PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lochs H, Pichard C, Allison S (2006) Evidence supports nutritional support. Clin Nutr (Edinburgh, Scotland) 25(2):177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lou K, de Rond M (2006) The ‘not invented here’ myth. Nat Rev Drug Discov 5(6):451–452PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Mansfield E (1961) Technical change and the rate of imitation. Econometrica 29:741–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    McNamee LM, Ledley FD (2012) Patterns of technological innovation in biotech. Nat Biotechnol 30(10):937–943PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Menrad K (2003) Market and marketing of functional food in Europe. J Food Eng 56(2):181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Metcalfe JS, James A, Mina A (2005) Emergent innovation systems and the delivery of clinical services: the case of intra-ocular lenses. Res Pol 34(9):1283–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mittra J (2007) Life science innovation and the restructuring of the pharmaceutical industry: merger, acquisition and strategic alliance behaviour of large firms. Technol Anal Strat Manag 19(3):279–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Mokyr J (1990) Punctuated equilibria and technological progress. Am Econ Rev 80(2):350–354Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Moore GA (1991) Crossing the chasm: marketing and selling high-tech products to mainstream consumers. HarperCollinsGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Munos B (2009) Lessons from 60 years of pharmaceutical innovation. Nat Rev Drug Discov 8(12):959–968PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Nooteboom B (1993) De hypothese van de betwistbare markt (Reactie). Tilburg UniversityGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Nunes P, Breene T (2011) Jumping the S-curve: how to beat the growth cycle, get on top, and stay there. Harvard Business PressGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    O'Connor GC, DeMartino R (2006) Organizing for radical innovation: an exploratory study of the structural aspects of RI management systems in large established firms. J Prod Innovat Manag 23(6):475–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Pahne N (2009) Enteral nutrition reimbursement—the rationale for the policy: the German perspectiveGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pammolli F, Magazzini L, Riccaboni M (2011) The productivity crisis in pharmaceutical R&D. Nat Rev Drug Discov 10(6):428–438PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Patel A, Smith C, Knowles T, Lin Y-L (2012) Nutrition and health claims: an enforcement perspective. Trends Food Sci Technol 28(1):15–22, 10.1016/j.tifs.2012.06.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Patel D, Dufour Y, Domigan N (2008) Functional food and nutraceutical registration processes in Japan and China: a diffusion of innovation perspective. J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci 11(4):1–11Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Phillips GM, Zhdanov A (2013) R&D and the incentives from merger and acquisition activity. Rev Financ Stud 26(1):34–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Porter M (1980) Competitive strategy: techniques for analysing industries and competitors. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Porter ME (1996) What is strategy? Published NovemberGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Pronker E, Weenen T, Commandeur H, Osterhaus A, Claassen H (2011) The gold industry standard for risk and cost of drug and vaccine development revisited. Vaccine 29(35):5846–5849PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Ring R (2004) Patents: the latest marketing tool. Intellect Asset Manag 7–10Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Schmidl MK (1993) Food products for medical purposes. Trends Food Sci Technol 4(6):163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Schoenmakers W, Duysters G (2010) The technological origins of radical inventions. Res Pol 39(8):1051–1059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Siedlok F, Smart P, Gupta A (2010) Convergence and reorientation via open innovation: the emergence of nutraceuticals. Technol Anal Strat Manag 22(5):571–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Siró I, Kápolna E, Kápolna B, Lugasi A (2008) Functional food. Product development, marketing and consumer acceptance—a review. Appetite 51(3):456–467, 10.1016/j.appet.2008.05.060 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Sloan AE (2000) The top ten functional food trends. Food Technol 54(4):33–62Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Sloan AE (2002) The top 10 functional food trends: the next generation. Food Technol 56(4):32–57Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Starling S (2012) Pharma seeks bigger dose of booming nutra sector. NutraingredientsGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Stratton RJ, Elia M (2007) A review of reviews: a new look at the evidence for oral nutritional supplements in clinical practice. Clin Nutr Suppl 2(1):5–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Teece DJ (1986) Profiting from technological innovation: implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy. Res Pol 15(6):285–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Utterback JM, Abernathy WJ (1978) Patterns of industrial innovation. Technol Rev 80(7):40–47Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Verhagen H, Vos E, Francl S, Heinonen M, van Loveren H (2010) Status of nutrition and health claims in Europe. Arch Biochem Biophys 501(1):6–15, 10.1016/ PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Weenen T, Jentink A, Pronker E, Commandeur H, Claassen E (2013a) A decision model to evaluate intellectual property strategies in the medical nutrition market. PharmaNutritionGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Weenen TC, Pronker ES, Commandeur HR, Claassen E (2013) Patenting in the European medical nutrition industry: trends, opportunities and strategies. PharmaNutrition 1(1):13–21, 10.1016/j.phanu.2012.10.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Weenen TC, Pronker ES, Commandeur HR, Claassen EHJM (2013) Barriers to innovation in the medical nutrition industry: A quantitative key opinion leader analysis. PharmaNutrition 1(3):79–85Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Weinstein RS, Descour MR, Liang C, Bhattacharyya AK, Graham AR, Davis JR, Scott KM, Richter L, Krupinski EA, Szymus J (2001) Telepathology overview: from concept to implementation. Hum Pathol 32(12):1283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Wijnberg NM (2011) Classification systems and selection systems: the risks of radical innovation and category spanning. Scand J Manag 27(3):297–306, 10.1016/j.scaman.2011.04.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamar C. Weenen
    • 1
  • Kenneth Fernald
    • 2
  • Esther S. Pronker
    • 3
  • Harry Commandeur
    • 4
  • Eric Claassen
    • 5
  1. 1.Erasmus Medical Center/Erasmus School of EconomicsErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Athena InstituteVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.VironovativeRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Erasmus School of EconomicsErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Erasmus Medical Center, Erasmus University/Athena InstituteVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations