In a post-COVID world, Alpex merges pharma with forward-looking nutraceuticals to meet increased demand for preventative options
The devastation of COVID was a turning point for many in how they viewed their health and lifespan. While the scientific community ultimately developed more than a dozen effective vaccines against the virus, the pandemic also laid bare the limitations to a treatment-based approach. The result was a huge shift towards more nature-based preventative care (nutraceutical) options, and a recent look at the post COVID-19 marketplace estimated the global market for nutraceuticals at almost half a trillion dollars by 2026.
For Kevin McKenzie, that marketplace is catching up to his own lifelong passions for nature and exploration, and how he is positioning Alpex Pharma, to lead the way in life sciences research and product development.
Global Experience & Perspective
Canadian by birth, Kevin grew up in the Northern wilderness, where he developed a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors, nature and adherence to health and an active lifestyle at an early age. His childhood was spent camping, canoeing, and hiking and he believed as much in developing his mind as his body. He learned Chinese by age 20, and relocated to Asia, where he would spend the next two decades.
McKenzie credits his time in Asia, where he discovered ancient practices like Buddhism, meditation, and fasting, in opening a new dimension to his West-informed dedication to health and longevity.
“Eastern medicine is rooted in the belief that the key to longevity – to a better healthspan and a longer lifespan – is in nature and preventative medicine. And that also includes lifestyle choices. That’s the essence of nutraceuticals – to help prevent the life-shortening malaises that pharma products are designed to treat.”
From Client to President
Before McKenzie and partner Carey Kurtin acquired the company, they encountered Alpex as a customer, looking along with their longtime team to develop and market their own nutraceutical products. “Switzerland is recognized as the global hub and innovation center for life sciences, with an established global reputation for quality and precision,” says McKenzie. “We knew we could develop Swiss products to the most exact standards and introduce them to the whole world.”
Alpex had established a decades-long reputation in Swiss precision and quality, and had both pharmaceutical (treatment) and nutraceutical (prevention) expertise under one roof, working in tandem to create a complete healthcare solution. The company’s existing infrastructure and technology, along with its history and ingenuity, laid out a new path for McKenzie and Kurtin. Never one to shy away from scaling a new height, after a year of traveling from Asia to Switzerland and working with Alpex, the partners acquired the company and McKenzie became the company’s Chairman and President.
Consumer Demand Driving Nutraceutical Growth
The global nutraceutical market continues to be dwarfed by pharma, which is expected to reach $1.7 trillion in 2025 and will remain a focus of Alpex’s operations. Nonetheless, McKenzie credits a more tech-savvy, better informed, better educated and more traveled population that is driving the growth of the nutraceutical market worldwide, and that even pharmaceutical companies will see the value in putting their resources into nutraceuticals.
“We’ve seen progression on every front: scientific knowledge, technological and manufacturing capabilities, even governments and international trade. Those are all the result of new generations demanding better and more options in taking care of their health and extending their lives.”
Building on Excellence
In addition to growing the legacy Alpex developed over the past 37 years, McKenzie has focused on expanding the company’s capabilities. Switzerland has again been ranked the world’s most-innovative economy by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and like many Swiss Companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, Alpex has increased its investments in recent years, putting over $60 million toward new computational and other technologies, facilities and equipment, and world-class personnel.
“It has been an interesting process of fusing next-generation thinking with established business infrastructure in order to access and cultivate the next generation of customers and products,” says McKenzie. “We are dedicated to maintaining this focus going forward while continuing to innovate and push the envelope in providing end-to-end solutions in innovative pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, using our patented and complementary technologies.”
Expanding Alpex’s Pharma Model by Leading
“Pharma and healthcare are virtually the last frontiers of industry that have withstood change – and the most in need of fundamental disruption,” says McKenzie.
McKenzie says pharmaceuticals will always have a firm foothold in medical treatment now and in the future, and will remain a focus of Alpex’s work. “Many natural and novel medicines are just entering our understanding, and there is often no alternative today yet for many serious medical conditions. While I truly believe in the value of preventative medicine and nutraceuticals as the key to longevity, I also want to help people live better lives now. Alpex is a forward-looking company, and there will always be a place for pharmaceuticals in healthcare.” With time, McKenzie believes that many existing pharmaceuticals can be replaced with healthier alternatives that can be more effective with less adverse effects.
In recent years Alpex successfully developed several drug products on its own initiative and commercialized them globally, bringing in third-party Big Pharma partners as needed. “This model yields a higher margin for Alpex – from the IP to the production to the royalties linked to end-consumer sales – while also being highly profitable for our partners,” says McKenzie.
A Pharma-Grade Approach to Nutraceuticals
In addition to its reputation for high-quality products and innovative delivery systems, Alpex has a proven track record of long-term success in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical verticals.
“A key Alpex advantage is our ability to complete both R&D and manufacturing under one roof, allowing us to commercialize and deploy a product after in-house development,” says McKenzie. “We take the same approach to a nutraceutical product as we would a pharmaceutical product, using similar technologies to ensure optimal results. We work with our clients to understand their customer and their needs and then bring their ideas to life.”
That purposeful collaboration and attention to detail create an effective product ready for long-term competition in the global market. Alpex leverages its decades of experience as well as constant innovation and proprietary technologies in the changing world landscape.
Leading the Healthcare Revolution
Looking ahead to the future of healthcare, wellness and longevity, McKenzie is determined to position Alpex as the leading edge of next-generation pharma and nutraceuticals, using all resources at its disposal.
“APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and delivery methods are constantly evolving, and Alpex will continue to innovate and collaborate in order to complement our growing portfolio of products,” he says.
The world is also changing, and McKenzie names Asia and Africa as two areas becoming increasingly important alongside the established North American and European markets, which includes the use of ingredients non-native to Alpex’s own environment.
Regardless of a product’s APIs, exotic ingredients or final destination, McKenzie stands behind every one as a measure of Alpex’s Swiss-born excellence.
“When you’re buying a Swiss-made product, you’re getting a little bit of Switzerland too,” says McKenzie. “An Alpex-made product is a perfect representation of the broader Swiss market ecosystem: quality, precision, innovation, and trust that is at home anywhere in the world.”