Health E-Insights: As VivAssure is a new division of Vivion, Inc., what’s the technology behind it?
Mr. Flannery: Throughout its 60-plus year history in the distribution business, Vivion has always strived to partner with the best sources to deliver the highest quality products to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace. Today’s customers require specific levels of purity in the materials that they employ. The new Vivion division, VivAssure, is designed to meet that need by providing ISO/IEC 17025:2005 heavy metal elemental testing, microbial testing, and an array of toxin/contaminate testing designed to exceed even the most stringent current regulatory requirements. The original idea was to provide the industry with raw materials that meet a California Proposition 65 compliancy level. Moving forward, VivAssure will adapt its testing methodology to continue to exceed any new regulatory requirements that may arise.
Health E-Insights: Is this technology helping change product testing in the dietary supplement industry?
Mr. Flannery: Absolutely. VivAssure is a new endeavor offering higher purity materials to our clients available from our network of warehouses throughout the western U.S. We are certain that we will provide a compelling value proposition to our customers by offering quality-assured material that is third-party certified, lab tested, and ready to use from our local inventory.
Health E-Insights: Is testing one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today?
Mr. Flannery: Yes. It is our belief that this challenge has existed at differing levels throughout the industry for decades. Since the marketplace today requires specifications at the level-of-purity of the ingredients included in each product, VivAssure can step in to ease the burden on manufacturers by defining said levels in advance of purchase. Our customers will have peace- of-mind knowing the products they will receive have already undergone an array of tests for heavy metal content, microbial organisms, and a wide spectrum of contaminants. Any material lot that does not pass our screening for over 930 contaminates/toxins, but still meets USP, NF, FCC standards, will not be made commercially available from the VivAssure subsidiary.
Health E-Insights: How much testing does VivAssure do for each branded ingredient?
Mr. Flannery: Every ingredient offered by VivAssure expands the USP, NF and FCC testing parameters that currently exist in our industry. Our focus is to provide higher purity materials for discerning marketing and production companies, specifically those that require compliance to California sales standards or manufacturers that seek to offer the best and purest products in their respective classes. In addition to the 930 toxin and contaminant tests performed on each batch of raw materials, VivAssure also tests for 24 heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium and selenium, as well as a variety of undesirable microbial organisms. The results of each test are provided for each lot, ensuring that customers can formulate with complete confidence. This unique VivAssure testing approach is based on the compilation of requirements developed by regulatory authorities in the U.S., Japan, and the EU markets for toxins, poisons, and carcinogenic chemicals.
Health E-Insights: How is VivAssure testing more advanced than what is learned from a COA?
Mr. Flannery: We feel that a certificate of analysis should show the actual levels of the results versus the typical language of compliance. With the information available, as offered by VivAssure, a company can comfortably formulate a product with full peace-of-mind, eliminating the guesswork. Microbial testing methodology is performed and is necessary to provide the safety a consumer expects. The toxin/contaminate testing panel is automatically offered. The process detects unwanted impurities, which, if present in a manufacturer’s lot, will be withheld from being marketed as VivAssure.
Health E-Insights: Do VivAssure branded ingredients conform to GMPs for purity and Prop 65 compliance?
Mr. Flannery: VivAssure exceeds the compendial testing standards for purity, compared to other raw material distributors worldwide. That stated, the product will meet individualized cGMP standards established by our clients. The focus on the VivAssure technology had its origins at Vivion, Inc., which had real-time experience operating in the dynamic California regulatory environment. We were applying our knowledge of California regulation and extrapolating the needs of our marketplace. In our opinion, VivAssure provides the opportunity for businesses to have a straight-line flow in their manufacturing efficiency.
Health E-Insights: Will companies save time and money using this testing system?
Mr. Flannery: Absolutely. As a qualified vendor, the expense and time expenditure of seeking third-party testing can be sidestepped altogether with our VivAssure ingredients, resulting in a dramatically shortened time-to-market. Many manufacturers have struggled to answer the question of what happens if a raw material does not comply with our expectations and needs? This will not be an issue with the VivAssure products that we provide.
Health E-Insights: What would you invent if you had the chance?
Mr. Flannery: I am an innovator by nature. I am constantly evaluating new methods, ideas and products simply because that is what I enjoy doing. I have no specific agenda, but rather seek to develop solutions to the various problems I face at any given time.
Health E-Insights: How do you evaluate success?
Mr. Flannery: For me, success is about a job well done and a life well lived. I want to be recognized as someone who can always be trusted to do his best, both in my personal life as well as my career.
Sheldon Baker is CEO of the Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known companies and brands. For Health E-Insights interview consideration or public relations consulting, contact him at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.