Business World

Thursday 23 March 2017

Lyons plans to spin off his €500m Alzheimer's unit

John Reynolds

WHISKEY and beer brewer, friend of Muhammed Ali, and Alltech animal food company founder Dr Pearse Lyons is eyeing a potential spin-off of a brain disease unit that could be worth €500m.

The Dundalk-born businessman -- whose firm has strong links with the Muhammed Ali Foundation and is headquartered in the former heavyweight champion's home state of Kentucky in the US -- has hired professional advisers to approach major pharmaceutical companies and other potential investors in a new product that could help alleviate Alzheimer's disease.

"This is the first time we've done something like this within Alltech. If we succeed and create a new business division, we'll invest and expand in Ireland and the US.

"The late, world-renowned Alzheimer's expert Dr William Markesbery said he'd never seen anything like our product that is so beneficial to people with the disease in all his 40 years in medicine, and we hope it will be a big part of a new Alltech Life Sciences business," Dr Lyons, a former biochemist with Irish Distillers, said.

The company's current work in the area of nutrigenomics is based on how foods and their mineral constituents affect genes and how that influences the effects of various diseases.

Alltech currently has annual sales of about €400m a year and hopes to double that within the next three years.

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