Diversified Natural Products (DNP) and Thorne Research announced a merger last week with financing from WestView Capital Partners and Tudor Ventures. The combined company will operate as Thorne Research, with plans to implement an aggressive growth strategy through the healthcare practitioner channel.

The new management team includes CEO Paul Jacobson, former CEO of DNP; COO Tom McKenna, formerly of Bristol-Myers Squibb; Will McCamy, founder and president of Xymogen, who will become Thorne’s new president and head of sales and marketing; and Dr. Robert Rountree, industry expert, who will become the company’s chief medical officer. Thorne’s founder, Al Czap, will step down from operational duties, but maintain an advisory role in the new company.

In a statement, Czap said: “This partnership merges Thorne’s commitment to quality manufacturing and product excellence with a set of science-based products that will be well received by medical practitioners. I believe this approach and the leadership of Paul and his team will accelerate Thorne’s market leading position."

Thorne is a recognized leader in the supplement industry for the high quality of its hypo-allergenic products. DNP brings formidable resources in clinical research and popular products in the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and joint pain categories to the merger. Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

NBJ Bottom Line

The practitioner channel continues to gather interest among supplement suppliers and manufacturers. Both Thorne and DNP maintain a strong presence in this channel, and the combination of the two makes them a bigger, stronger player. The healthcare practitioner channel hits many of the right buttons in an increasingly competitive marketplace by providing companies direct and repeated access to doctors and medical providers. It’s a safe and profitable place to be as integrative approaches to medicine gain traction in clinics across the country.

For more analysis of the trends shaping practitioner sales, listen to Nutrition Business Journal’s web seminar on Practitioner Supplement Sales from May 2010. NBJ also published its May issue on Pure Direct-to-Consumer Sales in the Nutrition Industry, with deeper coverage of the healthcare space.

Subscribe now through our website to get comprehensive coverage of these topics, including our August issue on Finance & Investment in the Nutrition Industry.
 

Related NBJ links:

May 2010: Direct Selling in the Nutrition Industry

2010 Archived Practitioner Supplement Sales Web Seminar

NBJ's Integrative Medicine Report 2009