Envara Health launches medical food to address fat malabsorption in cystic fibrosis patients

November 3, 2020
Sebastian Krawiec

Insufficient caloric absorption can cause developmental delays in children, chronic malnutrition in adults, and can accelerate the progression of lung disease in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Envara Health (Wayne, PA), a venture-based company, has launched a clinically supported medical food called Encala. The new product is formulated to address fat malabsorption in patients with cystic fibrosis and other exocrine pancreatic diseases by providing both easily absorbable fat calories and improving the absorption of fat and nutrients in accompanying meals and beverages.

A study sponsored by the National Institute of Health and recently published in Plos One1 found that children with cystic fibrosis and pancreatic insufficiency that had low dietary fat absorption saw significant improvement in fat absorption after three months of treatment with Encala, as well as increase plasma linoleic acid, a-linoleic acid, and total fatty acids. Compared to placebo, these subjects also saw improvements in height, weight, and body mass index.

Approximately 86% of patients with cystic fibrosis need to take pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) to facilitate fat absorption, but unfortunately PERT may not fully correct the problem. Insufficient caloric absorption can cause developmental delays in children, chronic malnutrition in adults, and can accelerate the progression of lung disease, which is a characteristic of cystic fibrosis. According to Envara, the structured lipid in Encala does not require PERT or digestion to be absorbed.

“The field of medical nutrition needs innovative solutions to help improve quality of life for patients with malabsorption,” said Virginia A. Stallings, MD, founder and medical advisor to Envara Heath, in a press release. “Encala is the only therapy that has been clinically proven to add healthy calories and provide additional fat absorption beyond the use of PERT. This will help both children and young adults reach their growth and nutritional goals.”

Encala is neutral in taste, gluten-free, non-GMO, and plant-based. It is a source of highly absorbable long-chain fats, including fatty acids, and can be an alternative to medium-chain triglycerides derived from palm, coconut, or vegetable oils. Encala is recommended for use under medical supervision in adults and children over one year of age who have transitioned to toddler or family table food.

Reference

  1. Stallings VA et al. “Improved residual fat malabsorption and growth in children with cystic fibrosis treated with a novel oral structured lipid supplement: A randomized controlled trial.” Plos One, vol. 15, no. 9 (2020)