Salt Lake City, UT—The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Partnership in order to promote the advancement of botanical dietary supplement research, according to a press release.

Loren Israelsen, UNPA President, said in the release: “This agreement allows UNPA to tap into the strengths of the medical school’s analytical, technical and policy expertise, and specifically, its expertise in clinical trials and toxicology. This agreement is in alignment with and compliments our MOU with the world-leading work being done at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi, as the two schools already work together and share resources pertaining to the study of botanical products and dietary supplements.”
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The research will be done within the Center for Dietary Supplements Research at the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at UAMS. The center’s mission is to provide industry, regulatory agencies, and the public with credible information, assessments, expert opinions, and risk communication.

Both parties, the release says, hope the MOU will lead to a greater understanding of new products with high potential that lack substantial knowledge about their safety and efficacy, such as cannabinoids. It is also hoped that testing products for safety and efficacy will aid in eliminating bad actors.

“We are particularly excited about the recently signed MOU with UNPA that will help to bridge the gap between academic centers and the dietary supplement industry, resulting in mutually beneficial and long-lasting collaborative efforts,” said Igor Koturbash, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director of the Center for Dietary Supplements Research as well as associate professor and vice-chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. “Our partnership with NCNPR, where we complement NCNPR’s well-recognized international expertise with our state-of-the-art analytical tools and expertise for safety and efficacy, results in a powerful tool that is capable of covering all the aspects of science pertinent to dietary supplements.”