Sibelius Chief Scientific Officer to Speak at SupplySide West

Dr. Kieron Edwards, Chief Scientific Officer at Sibelius Natural Products, will be speaking alongside other industry experts as part of the “Healthy Aging: Antioxidants, Adaptogens & Cognition” workshop at Level 3, South Seas C on October 16 at 9 a.m.

As the average lifespan continues to increase, efforts to improve the average healthspan have taken centre stage as consumers look for solutions for healthy aging. Dr. Edwards will start the discussion with the demographic and market considerations for healthy aging and then dive into the biology of cellular aging.

“I am thrilled to share my thoughts on a topic that I truly believe is not only important to us as individuals, but to societies as a whole” said Dr. Edwards. “Aging is a very complex process. The more we understand about how our cells age and the pathways involved, the better we can prepare solutions to improve human health into our 60s and beyond.”

For more information, visit the SupplySide West website here.

The importance of a good night’s sleep and a natural way to improve it

The Sleep Health Market Overview

Although sleep problems affect a significant percentage of the population, until recently, they hadn’t received the attention devoted to other health problems1. A recent survey reported that 51% of adults globally get less sleep than needed on an average night2. Sleep deprivation may negatively impact our quality of life, including physical and mental wellbeing, such as mood, productivity, learning-ability and stress levels. It has also been associated with an increased risk of age-related health risks, including cardiovascular, metabolic and mental problems3,4. Sleep is considered to be the third pillar of health, along with nutrition and exercise, and it needs to become a clear priority to enjoy a longer and happier life5,6.

Over the past few years, the sleep health market has grown significantly. According to a recent report by McKinsey, “the sleep health industry has historically grown by more than 8% a year, with few signs of slowing down” 7. In today’s 24/7 society, insufficient sleep is a global issue that is becoming increasingly common. Working overtime, trying to combine work with family and other responsibilities, along with the increased time spent on electronic devices are only a few reasons why there has been a significant shift in our sleep habits8. Certainly, consumers are gradually becoming more aware of their sleep problems – looking for ways to improve sleep quality and duration.

“The sleep health industry has historically grown by more than 8% a year, with few signs of slowing down”, according to a recent report by McKinsey.

Today, there are plenty of sleep products available in the market, ranging from prescription to over-the-counter medications and natural sleep supplements. When it comes to serious sleep issues, some individuals prefer prescribed and OTC sleeping pills. However, these pills should only be used as a temporary solution, as their regular use has been linked to different unwanted effects, including addiction9. On the other hand, natural sleep aids consisting of ingredients with long history of traditional use, such as chamomile and valerian, provide a safe and effective way to better sleep10. Even in this case, consumers should make conscious decisions with respect to the products they select. Among the plethora of natural health supplements, branded products with high-quality, traceable and scientifically evidenced ingredients are generally considered to be safer and efficacious.

Sibelius’ Natural Solution to Restful Sleep

Considering the difficulties that individuals with sleep problems face, we have developed an all-natural solution to support sleep and maintain immune health, Sibelius™:Chamomile. It is a branded, scientifically evidenced, high-quality Roman chamomile tincture that derives from a proprietary, non-GMO cultivar of Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile L. All.), grown in the UK for Sibelius Natural Products.

Roman chamomile, more formally known as Chamaemelum nobile L. All., (or under its synonym Anthemis nobilis L.) is one of the oldest known and most widely used species of the daisy family. It has been used throughout the world for over two thousand years, and continues to be very popular in the West for its relaxing, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects11. One of the most common traditional uses of this herb is to treat stress and insomnia12. Roman chamomile has an admirable safety profile and is a great source of a variety of chemical compounds, including flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, esters and phenolic acids, responsible for its immune health and relaxing properties9,13.

Sibelius will launch the Sibelius™:Chamomile tincture at SupplySide West this October. Visit booth #5310 to receive free samples and experience it for yourself!

By Loukiana Chatzinasiou
Product Manager


1 Partinen, M et al. Chapter 7: Nutrition, Sleep and Sleep Disorders- Relations of Some Food Constituents and Sleep. INTECH. 2014.
2 Princes Cruises. Princess Cruises Expands Annual Relaxation Report Internationally. 2018. [Online] []
3 NHS. Why lack of sleep is bad for your health. 2018. [Online] []
4 Grander, MA. Sleep, Health and Society. Sleep Med Clin. 2016; 12(1): 1-22.
5 Watson, NF, Badr, MS, Belenky, G et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep. 2015, 38: 843-844.
6 Mossavar-Rahmani, Y, Weng, J, Wang, r et al. Actigraphic sleep measures and diet quality in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sueno ancillary study. J Sleep Res. 2017, 26: 739-746.
7 Goldman, D. Investing in the growing sleep-health economy. McKinsey & Company. 2017.
8 Chattu, VK, Sakhamuri, SM, Kumar, R, Spence, DW, BaHammam, AS, Pandi-Perumal, SR. Insufficient Sleep Syndrome: Is it time to classify it as a major noncommunicable disease?. Sleep Sci. 2018; 11(2): 56-64.
9 Smith, M. et al. Sleeping Pills and Natural Sleep Aids. 2019. [Online] []
10 Kline. Tech Devices and Natural Products Drive the U.S. Sleep Aids Market Growing at Double digit Rates. CISION PR Newswire. 2019.
11 EMA. Assessment report on Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All, flos. EMA. 2012.
12 Natural Touch Aromatherapy. Chamaemelum nobile/ Anthemis nobilis- Compositae (Asteraceae). [Online] Available:
13 Chatzinasiou, L. Roman Chamomile: A forgotten treasure. 2017. [Online] Available:

Summer internships at Sibelius

[Left to right] Kateryna, YiPeng, Amy

With the hope that the company could provide guidance and play a role in improving future career prospects of young professionals, Sibelius partnered with Santander Universities to take on two recent life science graduates from Oxford Brookes University as interns – Kateryna Trokhymchuk and Amy Bridges. They were also joined by a second year Cambridge University student – YiPeng Khoo. The Santander Internship Scheme works with universities and SMEs, and offers support through partial funding of 10-week internship programmes. With this help, it is ensured that both the business and the interns receive the most beneficial and rewarding experience from the scheme.

Joining the Sibelius team was a smooth process thanks to the supportive and welcoming community at the office. Everyone was friendly and willing to help in any way possible, with our personal highlight being the regular supply of freshly baked cakes and snacks!

Considering the variety of educational backgrounds, specific project plans were given to each of us to enhance the skills we developed at university. These included tasks ranging from product development to investment and finance. Throughout our time at the company we began with conducting secondary scientific research; analysing the viability of potential new products. This led us onto scientific marketing and evaluating recent literature, with an end goal of finding the ‘golden nugget’ of a healthy human volunteer study. After this we were challenged with assessing the current market for each respective indication; paying attention to the market size and competitors. Our final task was the more creative brand marketing – creating a logo, sell sheet and packaging ideas for potential future products. Overall this showcased an end to end experience, allowing the us to appreciate the different aspects of taking a product from initial concept to market.

On the finance side of things, YiPeng worked on crafting a full business plan and pitch deck in preparation for Sibelius’ upcoming funding round. Starting off with a deep-dive into the fundamentals of the company – understanding how the market, technology, supply chains, business strategy, and company organisation worked – he then moved on to analyse the information in order to stitch together a coherent and enticing picture for potential investors. Working closely with the CEO, YiPeng created key documents that conveyed the unique selling points of Sibelius to the target group of investors. These efforts culminated with YiPeng presenting his work to existing investors. This not only gave him invaluable feedback on his work, but also granted a complete and personal experience of the financing activity that occurs between a company and investors.

Between regular catchups with the product manager and the CEO discussing progress, we found the internship allowed us to gain confidence in our abilities. Working in an environment where we were encouraged to use our own initiative when confronted with challenges, we were also reassured that help was available when needed. In our opinion, this experience has allowed us to have a real sense of responsibility, as we were given the opportunity to make a tangible impact on the business.

Overall, the company made good use of our education by integrating it into a professional setting. This has been a valuable experience – giving us an insight to the day-to-day workings of an SME. We also found that the Sibelius community provides a supportive environment which allows both employees and interns to excel with academic autonomy. We hope that this is the beginning of a wider future initiative to continue to build a support system for students as we have found it very valuable, and would like to thank everyone at Sibelius for their guidance and support during our time here.

By Amy Bridges, Kateryna Trokhymchuk and YiPeng Khoo

How can plant genetics contribute to environmental and public health?

Out of approximately 50,000 plants presumed to promote human health, many have yet to be fully investigated and, as the pace of species extinction increases, opportunities to do so are gradually decreasing1. A recent study showed that more than 600 plant species have become extinct in the past 250 years – this is 500 times faster than expected based on historical records2. Poor land use resulting in monocultures, loss of natural pollinators and climate change have fuelled this decline, while many botanicals are being wildcrafted (harvested from the wild) – adding further to the risk of species decline in a changing climate. The extinction of these organisms holds many consequences for its natural ecosystem, as well as reducing the chances of discovering new natural compounds and extracts that may have a beneficial effect on human health.

Medicinal plants have been used traditionally for the prevention and treatment of diseases for many years3. Some of the earliest evidence of plant use for treating ailments date back to 2,600 B.C. in Mesopotamia, with about 1000 natural compounds being reported for their unique therapeutic effects4.

Artemisia annua L.

A more recent example is the discovery of artemisin, a naturally-derived compound from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua L.) for the treatment of drug-resistant malaria parasites. During the war of North Vietnam with the US, China conducted extended research on novel antimalarial drugs to help the Northern Vietnamese treat malaria in the battlefield. More than 2000 herbal preparations were screened for their potential antimalarial effects5. Among these preparations were several extracts of Artemisia annua, which showed potential to inhibit these drug-resistant parasites. However, it was only when the chemist Tu Youyou studied a 1,600-year-old Chinese medical text that the optimal extraction methods for separating the active compound of this herb were rediscovered6. In 2015, she was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this discovery. While many cultures already use traditional medicine and medicinal plants to treat diseases, recent advances in genetics can provide a better insight of the specific bioactive metabolites, their concentration and the way they work to promote human health, as well as devise new strategies to protect endangered plant species.

The analysis of plant genes can provide useful insights into the phylogeny of the biological species, helping to identify plants of the same genus or family. Indeed, plants of the same family usually present several identical natural compounds or their derivatives, which may be easier to extract and separate1. Gene analysis may also prevent the overexploitation of plant species by isolating the specific genes responsible for the production of the active compounds and artificially culturing them in the laboratory.

Taxus brevifolia (source)

Consider the case of the anti-cancer drug Taxol, isolated from the bark of the Pacific Yew Tree (Taxus brevifolia). Initially, this tree was the only source of the drug, the extraction of the active substance was long and its yield was low. In addition, many trees that were hundreds of years old were needed to obtain this valuable compound7. With the advent of modern genetics, the use of stable plant cell lines, capable of producing the drug at significantly higher concentrations and quantities, has mitigated the risk of losing this crucial species.

Furthermore, species that occur in multiple geographic areas can be particularly interesting for identifying novel natural compounds, as adaption to their local environments can result in divergence in their genetic and chemical composition. This is the case for Sage (Salvia officinalis L.); a well-studied aromatic plant with a widespread distribution. In the Mediterranean, for example, geographically distinct populations produce different essential oils, and this variation is strongly associated with their genetic diversity8.

To sum up, plant genetics can be a valuable tool for the identification of high-quality botanical sources, natural extracts and compounds that may have a beneficial effect on human health. They can also provide information on the lineages to preserve and conserve the existing biodiversity and ecosystems.

At Sibelius, we use our patented Chronoscreen™ platform and our in-depth knowledge of plant biology to identify unique natural sources and form sustainable relationships with native plants; making clinically studied, scientifically proven and traceable natural ingredients accessible to everyone.

By Cristiane Forgiarini
Data Analyst


1 Atanasov AG, et al. (2015). Discovery and resupply of pharmacologically active plant-derived natural products: A review. Biotechnology Advances, 33(8):1582-614.
2 Humphreys, AM et al. (2019) Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3:1043-1047.
3 Sofowora, A, et al. (2013) The Role of Medicinal Plants in the Strategies for Disease Prevention. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 10(5): 210-229.
4 Cragg GM and Newman DJ. (2013). Natural products: a continuing source of novel drug leads. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA), 1830(6):3670-95.
5 Miller LH and Su X. (2011). Artemisinin: discovery from the Chinese herbal garden. Cell, 146(6):855-8.
6 Su X and Miller LH (2015). The discovery of artemisin and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Science China Life Sciences, 58(11): 1175-1179.
7 Żwawiak J and Zaprutko L. (2014). A brief history of taxol. Journal of Medical Science, 83(1):47-52.
8 Rešetnik I, et al. (2016). Genetic diversity and demographic history of wild and cultivated/naturalised plant populations: evidence from Dalmatian Sage (Salvia officinalis L., Lamiaceae). PloS One, 11(7):e0159545.

Learning from pathways of cellular aging

Although a debate still exists whether the human lifespan has a natural upper limit, human life expectancy has been increasing throughout recent history. Amongst other things, this can be linked to developments in medicine and improvements in public health. It is also clear that diet and lifestyle can have significant effects on health and the way people age.

Read the full article on the Natural Products Insider website here.

SupplySide West

Sibelius will be exhibiting at the SupplySide West annual trade show in Las Vegas, on 17-18th October (booth number 5310).

More information about the event is here.


Request a Meeting

Helping consumers stay healthy with age

Consumers don’t just want to live longer, they want to thrive longer. The concept of “healthy aging” supports consumers as they age to help them stay active and live fully in life’s later years.

Read the full article Natural Products Insider website here.

Roman Chamomile extract achieves non-GMO project verification

We are proud to announce that Sibelius has now achieved non-GMO project verification for Sibelius™: Chamomile.

Sibelius™: Chamomile is a proprietary Roman Chamomile extract (Chamaemelum nobile L.), specially developed to promote restful sleep naturally. This certification follows in the footsteps of Sibelius™: Sage, which was verified for compliance with the non-GMO Project Standard in 2017.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), are plants, animals or microorganisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. Over the past few years, GM crops and foods have raised concern among consumers with respect to their impact on the environment, human and animal health1, 2. This growing awareness means that there is an increasing demand for GMO-free, all-natural alternatives, as well as transparency regarding an ingredient’s origin, cultivation, production, processing, storage and distribution3.

Both Sibelius™ Sage and Chamomile have been verified by the FoodChainID Non-GMO Global Standard, which is recognised within the industry as the benchmark for a non-GMO production system. The program includes risk assessments, traceability, sampling and testing, in order to verify an ingredient’s compliance with the non-GMO Standard4.

Sibelius is delighted that Chamomile has obtained the non-GMO Project Verified seal, and will continue to develop natural ingredients of the highest quality, efficacy and safety.

By Loukiana Chatzinasiou and Sophia Cheesman


1 Hilbeck, A. et al. (2015). “No scientific consensus on GMO safety”. Environmental Sciences Europe, 27(4):1-6.
2 Thompson, P. B.  (2018). “GMOs”, Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics, Springer, Cham
3 Schweizer, E. (2015). “Organic and Non GMO Market Growth 2015”, Whole Foods Market [Online]


Memory and cognitive performance: Supporting the needs of an aging brain

"An aging individual's ability to process new information, and to do so quickly, incurs a steady drop between the ages of 20 and 80," explained Loukiana Chatzinasiou, product manager at Sibelius. "Activities that require focus and attention become more difficult and aging populations find that executive cognitive function, which involves decision making, problem solving, planning and multitasking, experiences further decline along with advanced age."

Read the full article in the June 2019 issue of Natural Products Insider here (see page 43).

Podcast: Sibelius Brings Modern Science to Ancient Remedies

In a recent chat with Sibelius Natural Products, CEO Peter Leyland discussed the introduction of its newest branded ingredient— Sibelius™: Chamomile—and its use as a natural sleep aid compared to other synthetic alternatives such as melatonin. Notably, the company’s formula uses Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile L.), which has been linked to benefits for natural balance, muscle relaxation, improved sleep quality, as well as support for allergic rhinitis.

Listen to the full interview here.