Oslo, Norway—NattoPharma has renewed its relationship with the University of Maastricht, according to a press release. This relationship has resulted in partnerships in the Horizon 2020 EU ITN grants EVOLuTION and INTRICARE, and in success for NattoPharma’s products.

"Our work with Maastricht has helped us not only create the Vitamin K2 category but also to keep NattoPharma on the front line of research and development. The discoveries from research continue to confirm that an adequate level of K2 guides calcium to where you need it—in your bones and teeth, and away from your arteries and blood vessels where calcification makes them stiff," said NattoPharma CEO Kjetil Ramsøy in a press release.

"The work conducted in collaboration with NattoPharma will provide further research into the role of vitamin K2 concerning calcium metabolism, impacting various aspects of our health," added Prof. Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice-Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University. "There is great potential in learning how these mechanisms impact cardiovascular health, but also the implications for other systems, such as bone, cartilage, brain, and pulmonary health."

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The five-year commitment will start with a research project aiming to demonstrate that vitamin K2 can help restore vascular health in patients and optimize vascular function in a healthy population. NattoPharma will also be supporting a new research project that will explore recent findings linking a better vitamin K status in COVID-19 patients to better outcomes.

"The first study represented an amazing finding, linking poor vitamin K status on COVID patients with poor prognosis," explained Prof. Schurgers, co-author of the study. "While we do not suggest vitamin K2 is a treatment for COVID-19, we expect this next stage of research may confirm that vitamin K2 could provide a novel solution for optimizing vascular health. Vascular health is important as this system needs to supply and support other organs, thereby improving outcomes for patients with comorbidities."

NattoPharma’s branded MenaQ7 has been used in all clinical trials studying vitamin K2 since the collaboration began in 2006.

"We are grateful for our long and productive relationship with Maastricht and excited for future discoveries so we can continue translating it into products that serve the estimated 97% of the population eating a modern diet that is deficient of this critical vitamin," says Ramsøy.