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Supplement Industry Leaders Join Radicle Science as Proof-as-a-Service Pioneer Expands Clinical Trials to Address New FTC Guidance


Radicle Science welcomes industry thought leader Tom Aarts and former Nutrasource executive Dr. Susan Hewlings, forges historic trade association and retailer partnerships, and broadens standardized clinical trial portfolio to include gut health and cognition

SAN DIEGO, March 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Radicle Science, the Proof-as-a-Service pioneer, continues to make history in its mission to close the proof gap between supplements and pharmaceuticals, expanding its team with industry thought leaders, establishing key partnerships with trade groups and retailers, and broadening its portfolio of standardized clinical trials to include gut health and cognition.  These new research areas add to existing study protocols on general pain, sleep, mood/feelings of anxiety, stress, energy, and quality of life /overall health.

“Radicle Science is pioneering this next frontier of supplement credibility.”  –Tom Aarts, Nutrition Business Journal

Radicle Science’s diverse, large scale, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are the type of studies the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires in its new Health Products Compliance Guidance to substantiate any health claims.  Having completed some of history’s first and largest supplement clinical trials at record affordability and speed due to its AI-driven, standardized research model, Radicle Science simultaneously brings much needed diversity and scale to clinical trials.  This clinical evidence enables supplements to develop the most effective products and make validated  claims based on study populations relevant to their target customers. 

Radicle Science’s latest advisor Tom Aarts is one of the most respected thought leaders in the supplement industry.  Aarts shared, “After more than 20 years in the industry, it is clear that accessible clinical proof is the most effective way for brands to give consumers, retailers and healthcare providers the much-needed data they need to make the best health and business decisions. I’ve joined the Radicle Science advisory board because I believe Radicle has turned the traditional clinical model on its head. The Proof-as-a-Service model is a robust and disruptive way to communicate product effectiveness to consumers. Radicle Science is pioneering this next frontier of supplement credibility.”

Aarts’ expertise has profoundly impacted the nutrition industry at large, as well as leading brands he’s advised, such as GNC, Garden of Life, Nestle, Bayer, and Cargill. He is the co-founder and current Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Nutrition Business Journal, the industry’s business journal of record.  He is also the founder and co-chair of the NBJ Summit and serves on the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.

Tom Aarts brings tremendous industry depth to our eminent advisory board,” said Dr. Jeff Chen, Cofounder and CEO of Radicle Science.  “Together, we look forward to empowering the supplement industry to generate the objective, gold-standard clinical evidence compliant with the FTC’s new guidance.” 

Aarts is joining an advisory board that includes Dr. Jonathan Fielding (Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA) and is chaired by Dr. Peter Diamandis (named “50 Greatest World Leaders” by Fortune and founder of XPRIZE).

Additionally, Dr. Susan Hewlings, PhD, RD, has joined Radicle Science as the VP of Research Affairs, bringing more than 20 years of experience in research and scientific consulting, which has supported many of the leading supplement brands in the industry.  She is a widely published scientist on dietary supplements, pharmacokinetics, and nutrition in peer-reviewed medical journals.  She has held multiple university faculty positions and was also previously the Director of Scientific Affairs at Nutrasource. 

Dr. Hewlings shared, “I am excited to be a part of Radicle Science and help build the totality of the evidence for dietary supplements. Radicle helps to provide the key missing piece: what effects do consumers experience from a supplement product and is it better than placebo? This is so essential, yet still missing in the industry. It is more than substantiating claims. It is providing scientific evidence on what is really happening.”

A new partnership between Radicle Science and The Clean Label Project, the national consumer safety standards non-profit, is exploring end-to-end scientific testing for dietary supplements.  Both organizations place scientific rigor, big data-driven approaches, and consumers at the center of their missions. The goal of this partnership is to certify supplements proven safe and pure by testing inspections, as well as effective by clinical trials.

Another notable industry collaboration is the partnership with the United Natural Products Association (UNPA), one of the most legislatively influential trade associations, who invited their membership (the CEOs of over 100 leading supplement companies) to become research participants in Radicle Science’s clinical trials and gain firsthand experience in medical research. 

“This is a momentous time in history, with the FTC updating its health products compliance guidelines for the first time in 25 years,” said Pelin Thorogood, Cofounder and Executive Chair of Radicle Science.  “Our revolutionary approach that offers rigorous clinical research on diverse populations will deliver on the FTC mandate that study populations indeed represent the targeted consumers. This not only elevates supplement industry marketing and improves science standards, but most importantly, promotes health equity for all.”  

While retailers like Amazon defend themselves in class-action lawsuits for charges of carrying misleading supplements, another retailer is raising the bar.  Radicle and the wellness marketplace Love announced history’s first researcher and retailer partnership testing supplement effectiveness.  By subsidizing the cost of Radicle Science clinical trials for their brands, Love is elevating retailer standards to help consumers make health decisions based on real evidence.

Radicle Science’s innovative clinical research approach has garnered awards including:  

  • KPMG Top 10 “Tech Innovator” in America
  • UCSF Digital Health Awards “Rising Star” finalist in Consumer Wellness
  • Named “2022 Cool Company” at the City of San Diego’s Innovation Day
  • Selected as the Industry Partner for two University of California San Diego “Innovation Sprints” in technology and marketing
  • Chief Research Officer Dr. Emily Pauli won “Woman of the Year in Healthcare” by the International Stevie Awards and the Outstanding Leadership Award by Health 2.0
  • Cofounder and Executive Chairwoman Pelin Thorgood was named “Maverick of the Year” by the International Stevie Awards and a “Top 50 Leader in Life Science” by the San Diego Business Journal
  • Cofounder and CEO Dr. Jeff Chen was named “CEO of the Year” finalist by the San Diego Business Journal

Cofounders Pelin and Dr. Jeff were invited by SPINS to present a clinical trials webinar on “Analyzing the new FTC Health Products Compliance Guidelines.”  They have also been invited by ExpoWest to present “Show Me the Supplement Science: Breakthroughs Making Clinical Trials (and Claims!) Affordable” on March 8, 2023.

About Radicle Science: 

Radicle Science is history’s first and only Proof-as-a-Service company, offering an easy path for non-pharmaceutical products to clinically prove their true effects beyond placebo.  A KPMG Top 10 US Tech Innovator, Radicle Science leverages an AI-driven, crowdsourced, virtual and direct-to-consumer approach to power its revolutionary clinical trials.  The result is access to clinical proof at unprecedented affordability, speed and scale across diverse populations and conditions. Radicle Science’s clients range from innovative startups to global CPG companies with market caps of more than $100B.  The B-corp’s Radicle vision is an abundant future where democratized access to clinical trials closes the proof gap and transforms non-pharmaceutical products into proven personalized medicines accessible by all. To learn more about Radicle Science, visit

Media Contact:  Grace Lightfoot

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(619) 786-7090

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SOURCE Radicle Science