Advanced Orthomolecular Research

Leading supplement formulation in Calgary, Alberta and beyond
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Forrest Lancaster

Located in Calgary, Alberta, Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR) is a Canadian-based company with divisions in Canada and the United States. Founded by Dr. Traj Nibber, Ph.D. in 1991, AOR has built a solid reputation as one of the most innovative supplement formulators in the industry known for leading research and development, scientific integrity, quality manufacturing and leading consumer education.

“There’s a lot of exciting things going on for us,” says Pran Nibber, marketing director of AOR. “We recently purchased a soft gel manufacturing company in Alberta and we’re looking at expanding our contract manufacturing and private-label services. This year, we’re also gearing up for a big push into the U.S.”

Bringing science and innovation to supplements

As consumers take a closer look at dietary nutrition, the nutraceuticals and supplements business has blossomed in recent years and is now one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Canadian economy. AOR is taking advantage of this growing sector, while upholding a dedication to quality, safe and potent ingredients.

“Orthomolecule” is a term that was coined by Linus Pauling, the founder of orthomolecular medicine. “This refers to the right amount of the right substances delivered to the right place in the body at the right time,” explains Nibber, founder, CEO and director of research at AOR. This model, based in scientific integrity and innovation, is central to the AOR philosophy.

Since the start of his compounding pharmacy in Smith Falls, Ontario, Nibber wanted to push the envelope in industry innovation. “At the time, most formulations were very basic – there wasn’t anything really groundbreaking on the market,” he recounts.

Nibber wanted to change that and bring more science to supplement formulation. At his original pharmacy business, he was contacted by People with AIDS (PWA), an advocacy group searching for a source for hard-to-find formulations for AIDS buyers’ groups.

Nibber’s initial surprise at the lack of access to these nutritional supplements turned into frustration when he realized how many people were suffering from the failure of the dietary supplement industry in making well-established nutrients and at the same time, companies trying to promote supplements lacking firm scientific evidence. “The pharmacy was Canada’s first buyers’ club for PWA and other AIDs groups,” he recounts. “Oftentimes, we would end up shipping free products because most of the members couldn’t afford the supplements.”

Research and development in state-of-the-art facilities

The goal of greater access to safe, effective supplements, backed by leading research is what still fuels AOR today. “We are first and foremost an innovative leader,” adds Nibber. “AOR reinvests roughly 15 percent of its revenue into research and development and we have more than 28 different collaborations with universities in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.”

“We feel strongly that the only way our industry can gain the trust of regulators, the pharmaceutical industry, physicians and consumers is to work closely with academics and bring safe and efficacious natural health products to the market through collaboration with scientists and researchers,” continues Nibber.

AOR also devotes considerable research efforts in novel delivery systems such as colonic, intranasal and increased bioavailability through self-emulsifying delivery systems. With a new state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Calgary, in addition to another site in Olds, Alberta, AOR has expanded from 35,000 square feet to 95,000.

“We now have extensive capabilities in capsules, tablets, sachets, blister, powder, creams, ointments and liquid production,” says Nibber. “We have also set up a state-of-the-art material testing facility that tests and conditions powders for better behavior during production.”

AOR currently formulates and develops an exclusive nutraceutical line for practitioners and a line for health food retailers and specialty pharmacies. “We also offer private-label formulation,” adds Nibber.

Right now, he says the biggest challenge is to take the company’s hard work and investment in research and development and present it to consumers, retailers and physicians. “Being at the forefront is sometimes a challenge, because our products are way ahead of their time,” Nibber explains.

Overall, as the industry expands and consumers seek more alternatives to mainstream health care, regulations are tightening. “The new Natural Product Number (NPN) regulations are good for the industry,” says Nibber. “It doesn’t limit innovation; it sets the standard for quality.”

AOR is not intimidated by product regulations and tighter labeling protocol, because it has always been the company’s mission to get the ‘right amount of the right substances delivered to the right place in the body at the right time,’— and to get the right information to the consumer.

In just under a decade, Advanced Orthomolecular Research has become a leader in innovative nutraceuticals driven by continuous research-backed orthomolecules and botanicals that are sure to change the face of the industry.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
KOCI Project Management Limited
Verdure Sciences