Paul Duxbury, the managing director of Nasaleze, arrived in the Isle of Man by an interesting series of events, which unfolded over the past 60 years. His father bought a sports car from Nasaleze founder Mike James’ brother in the 1950s. Back in 2000, the James brother showed Mr Duxbury an interesting invention – the powder now known as Nasaleze – and he immediately saw its potential.
Mr Duxbury had been working in the export business for many years, as he says, “I love people. You have to in this business, when it’s all about travelling and meeting new people.”
Founder Mike James, a chemical engineer, had originally invented Nasaleze in a bid to stop the sneezing fits of his young son. It is the world’s first powdered nasal spray. Says Mr Duxbury: “We are breaking new ground. Everyone is used to liquid sprays for the nose but not powders.”
Nasaleze is a patented product and is classified as a medical device around the world. It is a completely natural cellulose powder from organic plant extract. Rather than being a cure or medicine, it prevents allergic reactions by acting as an unnoticeable gel barrier to nasal irritants. Likened to an invisible pollen mask, it traps impurities effectively, and helps allergy sufferers.
Professor Richard Lewis and Prof Jean Emberlin (UK top allergy expert) both from Worcester University have said that Nasaleze is a remarkable discovery. In the last clinical trial done on the product this year, Prof Nils Aberg from Queen Silvia’s Children Hospital in Sweden, the lead author of the study said it is as effective as a steroid in dealing with symptoms of allergies, without the side effects.
While it was a successful device from the start, commercial growth was slower on the uptake. “If you’re launching a new invention, you have to be prepared to invest in quality clinical trials to prove that it’s good, that it works. We had to invest £750,000 on several international clinical trials,” says Mr Duxbury.
The company finally launched in 2002. Today Nasaleze sells two million bottles a year with contracts in over 100 countries, partnering with larger pharma companies. The biggest markets are Russia, Eastern Europe and the United States.
Nasaleze has two factory units in Ramsey, totalling more than 5,000 square feet. Its sales team is based in Douglas. There is also a sales office in Holland, which runs the Far East & Eastern European markets.
“We’re on the verge of significant growth,” says Mr Duxbury. “nearly half our turnover comes out of Russia and Eastern Europe. Our sales in Russia have grown 72 per cent on the previous year.”
Why Russia? “We’re selling two products there - Nasaleze, and a garlic product for cough and cold prevention. Russians have a long history of garlic use for that purpose. It’s known as the ‘Russian penicillin’ because for many families it was the only affordable medicine . . . garlic is backed up by many scientific studies as an efficient cold prevention.”
Nasaleze also invented Nostrilvet, which as the name suggests is Nasaleze for horses. “Horses used to live outside in the fields. Since they were brought in to live in artificial indoor environments, they’ve developed allergies,” says Mr Duxbury by way of background.
The biggest markets for Nostrilvet are Germany and the US.
Nasaleze is stocked by Holland & Barrett, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda in the UK, and Walgreens & CVS in the US. Plans are well underway to launch a Boots own brand in 2014.
Tel: +44 (0)1624 611050