Biohit Oyj and Tamro Oyj agreed to tighten co-operation concerning Acetium product portfolio

| Source: Biohit Oyj

Biohit Oyj and Tamro Oyj have agreed to tighten the co-operation concerning Acetium product portfolio. The co-operation shall in the future include marketing and distribution of the new over-the-counter product Acetium lozenge in Finland. Lozenge efficiently removes dissolved acetaldehyde in saliva during smoking. In 2008, the WHO classified acetaldehyde in to the group of the most important tobacco smoke carcinogens, for which exposure reduction should be mandatory. The sales of the new product are expected to start in Finland as of the end of the first quarter.

CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj: "This unique product is targeting smokers, as the Acetium lozenge might help one to quit smoking. The product is suitable for each smoker's mouth.”

Executive Vice President Kai Kaasalainen, Tamro: "The sales have positive expectations for two products, Acetium capsule and lozenge, supporting each other”.


Additional information:

CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj
Tel. +358 9 773 861


Biohit Oyj in brief

Biohit Oyj is a Finnish biotechnology company operating globally that was established in 1988. Biohit’s mission is “Innovating for Health” and “Cancer Prevention”. The purpose of the company is to take social responsibility and produce innovation, new technologies and analysis systems for use in medicine, research institutions and industry, helping to promote research and diagnostics and to improve the quality of life of people by means of preventing disease, human suffering and financial loss. We are committed to responsibility and it is our duty to innovate and develop the marketing and availability of our products and services. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki and its subsidiaries are located China and UK. Since 1999, Biohit’s Series B shares (BIOBV) have been listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Oy Small cap/Healthcare sector.


Tamro in brief

Tamro is Finland’s leading distributor of pharmaceuticals and other products that promote health and well-being. Tamro has a vitally important role in the Finnish well-being chain: we ensure that pharmacies and hospitals are quickly and reliably supplied with the pharmaceuticals and other products they need. Tamro Finland’s net sales amount to EUR 700 million and it employs about 370 people. Tamro belongs to the international PHOENIX Group.



Additional information:

Acetaldehyde is the most important cigarette smoke carcinogen (Haussmann, 2012). Acetaldehyde concentration in tobacco smoke is almost 1000 times higher than any of the other carcinogens. Due to highly water soluble substance contained in tobacco smoke, acetaldehyde dissolves in saliva during smoking and is emanated along with it in the mouth, throat, esophagus and gastric mucosa. By this mechanism, smoking significantly increases risk of cancer in these areas.

Normally acetaldehyde concentration is not measurable in saliva. During smoking the average acetaldehyde content is approximately 228 micromoles per liter (10mg / l). If the smoker is simultaneously drinking alcohol, acetaldehyde concentration in saliva is significantly higher at around 360 micromoles per liter (16mg / l). Mutagenic level of acetaldehyde is approximately above 50-100 micromoles, which means from 2.2 to 4.4 mg of acetaldehyde per liter. Thus, the active smoking during salivary acetaldehyde concentration exceeds the risk tolerance by 2-4 times.

Acetium ® lozenge method developed by Biohit contains L-cysteine and xylitol and it extremely effectively removes acetaldehyde in smoker's saliva. Studies have proven that even a very small amount of cysteine ​​(3 mg) removes up to 90 % acetaldehyde dissolved in to saliva during smoking.

Acetaldehyde in cigarette smoke is generated during the combustion process. Acetaldehyde does not improve the taste or smell of cigarettes, and it’s not expected to affect the attractiveness of cigarettes. Acetaldehyde, however, is expected to make cigarettes more addictive by increasing the addictive effect of nicotine. Acetaldehyde can also bind to certain amino acids in the body, and form so-called harmans. Harmans are believed to influence directly on the brain as depression medicines, which can improve the mood. Tobacco addiction may, therefore, be strengthened by this mechanism. It is possible to study this hypothesis with Acetium lozenge form.


Acetium lozenges and cigarette smoke acetaldehyde-related literature:

1. Salaspuro V, Salaspuro M. Synergistic effect of alcohol drinking and smoking on in vivo acetaldehyde concentration in saliva. Int J Cancer 2004;111:480-483.
2. Salaspuro VJ, Hietala JM, Marvola ML, Salaspuro MP. Eliminating carcinogenic acetaldehyde by cysteine from saliva during smoking. Cancer Epid Biomark Prev 2006;15:146-9.
3. Kartal A, Hietala J, Laakso I, Kaihovaara P, Salaspuro V, Sakkinen M, et al. Formulation and in vivo evaluation of L-cysteine chewing gums for binding carcinogenic acetaldehyde in the saliva during smoking. J Pharm Pharmacol 2007;59:1353-8.
4. Haussmann HJ. Use of hazard indices for a theoretical evaluation of cigarette smoke composition. Chem Res Toxicol 2012;25:794−810.
5. Burns DM, Dybing E, Gray N, Hecht S, Anderson C, Sanner T et al. Mandated lowering of toxicants in cigarette smoke: a description of the World Health Organization Tob Reg proposal. Tob Control 2008;17:132−41.


Read also:
Cancer Society of Finland:


Acetium capsule:

The L-cysteine in Acetium capsule dissolves slowly into the gastric fluid, efficiently binding (neutralising) carcinogenic acetaldehyde in an achlorhydric stomach. This contributes to the prevention of cancer in mouth, stomach and oesophageal. Such cancers are typically diagnosed late, which results in a particularly poor prognosis.

The science behind the Acetium innovation is strong and there is a great need for this product. Identifying the specific carcinogenic substance is crucial to preventing a particular cancer. Insufficient ability to remove acetaldehyde caused by point mutation provides a human model for acetaldehyde exposure, helping to explain the high incidence rates of upper gastrointestinal tract cancers in alcohol drinkers. The consistent epidemiological and biochemical results obtained from this model prompted the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in October 2009 to classify the acetaldehyde found in, and generated endogenously from, alcoholic beverages as a Group I carcinogen, i.e. as carcinogenic as asbestos, formaldehyde and benzene. One principle applies to all Group I carcinogens: every available means should be used to reduce exposure to these substances.

The Acetium capsules are the only product in the world proven to reduce exposure to acetaldehyde. Acetium is intended e.g. for persons suffering from an achlorhydric stomach caused by atrophy of the gastric mucosa and functional disorder (atrophic gastritis). An anacidic stomach is the most significant risk factor in stomach and oesophageal cancer. The risk group includes approximately 500 million people globally. The easiest method to diagnose an achlorhydric stomach caused by atrophic gastritis from blood samples is using GastroPanel biomarker test developed by Biohit Oyj.

Acetium capsules, which are available in pharmacies without prescription, are recommended to those with

  1. long-term need to use medications that reduce gastric acid (HCl) secretion (PPI medication and H2 blockers); approximately 5-10% of Western population use these occasionally or regularly, and possibly more than 500,000 people in Finland,
  2. an achlorhydric or low-acid stomach caused by atrophic gastritis resulting from Helicobacter pylori infection or an autoimmune disease, which can be diagnosed with GastroPanel (500 million worldwide)
  3. an untreated chronic Helicobacter pylori infection, which can be reliably diagnosed with GastroPanel (more than 500 million people worldwide),
  4. people who have undergone stomach surgery (over a million people worldwide),
  5. people with gene mutation affecting acetaldehyde metabolism: 30–50% of Asians suffer ALDH2 deficiency.

The Acetium and GastroPanel innovations provide new opportunities for safe and cost-effective health care, as well as opportunities to tap into large and growing markets in cooperation with other Finnish and international companies and researchers.


Read more: > State of the art GastroPanel and Acetium innovations for the unmet need and > GastroPanel Research.