The expansion comes on the heels of a successful summer launch in the United Kingdom, followed by a swift rollout to Australia, New Zealand and select countries in Europe.
“In the UK alone, we sold over 100,000 packs at £30 ($35) each at launch through selling only on our own website,” Frederic Fernandez, head of group at Myrkl, told NutraIngredients-USA. “We are now scaling up in the pharmacy channel in UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Europe.”
‘The pre-drinking pill that works’
According to de Faire Medical, Myrkl (pronounced miracle) is “the pre-drinking pill that works” by eliminating up to 70% of alcohol within 60 minutes of drinking. In addition to preventing hangover symptoms before they start, the company says that Myrkl eliminates the calories from the alcohol.
“With the festive season fast approaching, we know this product will be a game-changer for moderate social drinkers, allowing them to not only wake up feeling their best the next day but also avoid developing a beer belly or setting themselves back in terms of their health and fitness goals," Fernandez said.
The target audience is “generally consumers that have slightly more drinking occasions than the average and that care about how they feel the next day”, including work hard-play hard young professionals, young parents, seniors and people who may struggle to metabolize alcohol effectively.
Sold exclusively online direct-to-consumer and B2B through the Myrkl website, each pack contains 30 capsules, or a 15-day supply when taken as recommended.
The formulation and the science
Myrkl's patented formulation (AB001) is the result of 30 years of research and development led by Swedish chemist Johan de Faire in Japan and in Stockholm. It contains fermented rice bran – which stimulates the propagation of Bacillus subtilius and Bacillus coagulan bacteria in the gut to break down the alcohol – as well as L-cysteine to replenish antioxidants and vitamin B12 to boost energy.
“The proprietary formulation and active ingredient in Myrkl, AB001, is a scientific breakthrough and the first time in history that a product has demonstrated the breakdown of alcohol effectively in the gut before it reaches the liver,” Fernandez said, adding that the company does not comment on other products with similar claims.
A de Faire-funded study recently published in the Metabolic Insights & Nutrition journal evaluated the effects of AB001 in 24 young healthy Caucasian adults, administering two capsules a day from a week prior to exposure to a range of 50-90 ml of vodka.
“Regular uptake of AB001 may help to prevent liver and other organ damage and may reduce the negative medical and economic impact of social drinking on the individual and the society,” the German researchers from the Pfützner Science & Health Institute concluded. More studies are underway to evaluate the efficacy of AB001 for weight-loss and type 2 diabetes products in the de Faire pipeline.
The Myrkl launch is accompanied by a “Responsible Marketing Framework” that includes an unambiguous position on alcohol as “a toxic substance from the first drop ingested” and makes clear that it is not intended to alleviate the impact of excess alcohol consumption.