I finally met Alan Kligerman two years at the NIH State of the Science Conference on Lactose Intolerance. Kligerman is the founder of Lactaid and the man responsible for the current public awareness of lactose intolerance. (Almost to a fault. The other day I saw yet another supposedly authoritative source recommend that people get Lactaid pills rather than lactase pills to alieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance. If they're not careful, Lactaid will lose its trademark.) I called him a ball of fire in that earlier post and I meant it: he exuded more energy during that half-hour sitdown lunch than I do all day.
Kligerman sold Lactaid many years ago and his big second product, Beano, in 2001, but still runs his pharmaceutical firm AkPharma, and is committed to introducing new products to the market even after 61 years in the business. An article in the pressofAtlanticCity website, Made in South Jersey: Developer of Beano testing product to heal wounds faster by Kevin Post, gave some details.
Today AkPharma is focused on research and development, but still manufactures one product — Prelief, which when added to coffee takes the acid out of it and provides calcium, a nutrient coffee drinkers lose. ...
Kligerman, 81, sees the company’s future in potential medical uses for the active ingredient of Prelief. ... he suspected that the active ingredient — calcium glycerophosphate, or CGP — was doing more than just removing food acid.
Preliminary studies suggested it was having an effect on the bladder cell walls, he said, so he commissioned studies confirming the bladder effects and also showing promising benefits of applying the compound to skin. ...
The study was conducted on 20 patients who were getting both knees replaced, with the CGP preparation applied to the surgical incision on one knee and a preparation without CGP to the other. ...
A report on the trial, published this month in the Journal of Wound Care, said the treated knees showed less swelling and inflammation, particularly in the first two weeks when the incisions were closing. The overall assessment of CGP-treated wounds was significantly better.
“The results of this study demonstrate that topical CGP application might speed wound healing,” the report said. ...
Such product development is a long way from the original Kligerman Dairy founded in 1918 in Atlantic City.
“This is thrilling to a kid who would go into a store and if they put two quarts of Kligerman milk in the dairy case they were doing him the biggest favor in the world,” he said.
The company today also has a pet milk called CatSip, produced and packaged in a Western dairy and distributed from there and from the Egg Harbor Township plant. CatSip is a fortified milk that is digestible by adult cats and dogs, which can be lactose intolerant, he said.
Even after working for 61 years, Kligerman said he’s still fired up by the creative potential of what has become a research and development firm.
“I’m probably the only member of the family who had fun in the dairy business,” he said.
I'm thrilled that's he still part of the business and still striving to do good. I hope that both of us get to have fun doing this for another 61 years.