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Amway commits to second-round investment with microbiome startup HEM to continue the development of personalized probiotic supplements

ADA, MICH., USA (August 11, 2022) — Leading health and wellness company Amway today announced a second-round of strategic investment with South Korea-based Holzapfel Effective Microbes (HEM). The partnership originated in 2020 to develop personalized probiotics with the goal of supporting wellness through gut-health-related benefits such as immunity, weight management, brain health, skin health and more.

“Amway is committed to increasing our investment in nutritional science, technology and innovation to provide solutions the growing health and wellness needs of our Amway Business Owners (ABOs) and Customers,” said Asha Gupta, Amway Regional President, Asia & Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer. “Partnering with HEM enables our ABOs to be at the forefront of providing innovative and personalized probiotic supplementation specific to a Customers’ needs.”

Understanding gut health
Current methods of supplementing probiotics involves giving similar doses to every individual. However, the intestinal environment is different for every individual and is often established during early childhood. As a result, there is a wide variability in the results between individuals that consume an identical probiotic. Given the complexity of the human gut, a better understanding of both the bacteria present in an individual’s gut, as well as their functional outputs, are the next step in personalized support for gut health.

Leveraging HEM’s PMAS technology
The composition of the gut microbiota in humans contains many individual variations. HEM leverages the Personalized Pharmaceutical Meta-Analytical Screening (PMAS) technology to understand, and then predict, how a particular gut microbiota responds to a specific invention.

“HEM’s PMAS technology provides us with the ability to understand, on a deeper level, how the gut microbiota can be leveraged to impact human health and wellness,” said Anouchah Sanei, Amway Chief Innovation & Science Officer. “In this specific case, the technology looks at how an individual’s gut bacteria produces short chain fatty acids in response to probiotic use, which is tied to multiple health outcomes.”

“Amway’s investment opens new doors for the personalized microbiome health care platform,” said HEM co-founder and CEO Dr. Yosep Ji. “This investment also provides Amway’s trusted network of ABOs in Korea with the exciting opportunity to accelerate their own personalized probiotics business.”

HEM continues its journey to develop an at-home microbiome test to assess the gut microbiome. The product is expected to become available in South Korea beginning August 17, 2022.

For Amway, this is the first strategic partnership focused on providing personalized wellness solutions. The company is actively pursuing collaboration with startups in this space with an initial focus on scouting partners in South Korea, US, China, Thailand and Indonesia.

About HEM
Established in 2017 out of Handong Global University in Pohang, South Korea, by Research Professor Dr. Yosep Ji and Chair Professor Holzapfel Wilhelm Heinrich, HEM supports people with incurable diseases related to microbiome disfunction. The company is headquartered in Pohang with a research lab in Suwon.

About Amway
Amway is an entrepreneur-led health and wellness company based in Ada, Michigan. It is committed to helping people live better, healthier lives – across more than 100 markets worldwide. According to Forbes magazine, it is among the Top 50 privately held, family-owned companies in the United States. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™, Artistry™, and XS™ energy – all sold exclusively by entrepreneurs who are known as Amway Business Owners. Amway is the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the 2021 Direct Selling News Global 100. For company news, visit