Based on a new concept of L-selenomethionine (SeMet) precursor, we have designed selenium-containing molecules which are proprietary organic compounds (patent No FR2873376 / US7381416 / WO2006008190). The synthesis process of the basic structure NutraSelen® (THD-177 / CAS Number 873660-49-2), i.e., D,L-2-hydroxy-4-(methylseleno)butanoic acid (HMSeBA), is simple and cost effective compared to that of SeMet. We have shown that NutraSelen® can be converted into SeMet, e.g. by yeasts  and bacteria.
Based on Tetrahedron's NutraSelen® compound, Adisseo developed under license the product Selisseo® for animal nutrition and Adisseo's Selisseo® received a market authorization by the European Commission, in May 2013, for its use as feed additive in all animal species . This successful development has showed that NutraSelen®/Selisseo® is rapidly converted into SeMet in animals and is an effective source of Se, with a safety and bioavailability comparable to that of SeMet [3-6].
Pure and chemically defined, stable and easy to formulate, NutraSelen® provides a reliable organic source of selenium (Se) which has also a great potential for Se supplementation in human nutrition, including clinical nutrition. Tetrahedron is looking for an industrial partnership to license out NutraSelen® in this field.
The health claims that have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to support selenium forms authorized for addition to foods and for use in food supplements are the following [7,8]:
Potential uses of NutraSelen® are:
a dietary ingredient, by direct incorporation in food supplements,
or a substrate for the SeMet enrichment of probiotics, such as yeasts and bacteria, by replacing selenite with NutraSelen® in the culture medium (patent No FR2935393 / US8535931 / WO2010023291).
Simultaneous speciation of selenomethionine and 2-hydroxy-4-methylselenobutanoic acid by HPLC–ICP MS in biological samples – VACCHINA V., MOUTET M., YADAN J.C., de BAENE F., KUDLA B., and LOBINSKI R. – 2010 – J. Chromatogr. B, 878:1178-1180
EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP); Scientific Opinion on safety and efficacy of hydroxy-analogue of selenomethionine as feed additive for all species – 2013 – EFSA Journal, 11(1):3046 [30 pp.]
Effect of 2-hydroxy-4-methylselenobutanoic acid as a dietary selenium supplement to improve the selenium concentration of table eggs – JLALI M., BRIENS M., ROUFFINEAU F., MERCERAND F., GERAERT P.A., and MERCIER Y. – 2013 – J. Anim. Sci., 91(4):1745-1752
Comparative study of a new organic selenium source v. seleno-yeast and mineral selenium sources on muscle selenium enrichment and selenium digestibility in broiler chickens – BRIENS M., MERCIER Y., ROUFFINEAU F., VACCHINA V., and GERAERT P.A. – 2013 – Br. J. Nutr., 110(4):617-624
EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to selenium and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 277, 283, 286, 1289, 1290, 1291, 1293, 1751) , function of the immune system (ID 278), thyroid function (ID 279, 282, 286, 1289, 1290, 1291, 1293), function of the heart and blood vessels (ID 280), prostate function (ID 284), cognitive function (ID 285) and spermatogenesis (ID 396) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on request from the European Commission – 2009 – EFSA Journal, 7(9):1220 [24 pp.]
EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to selenium and maintenance of normal hair (ID 281), maintenance of normal nails (ID 281), protection against heavy metals (ID 383), maintenance of normal joints (ID 409), maintenance of normal thyroid function (ID 410, 1292), protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 410, 1292), and maintenance of the normal function of the immune system (ID 1750) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 – 2010 – EFSA Journal, 8(10):1727 [18 pp.]