Startup of the Week: A guilt-free treat for health-conscious people

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Updated 26 February 2019
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Startup of the Week: A guilt-free treat for health-conscious people

  • ALT Desserts offers a variety of flavors such as salted caramel, pistachio, chocolate, raspberry, pomegranate rose and mango

JEDDAH: In the good old days, our grandparents used to emphasize maintaining healthy dietary habits. If we compare our lifestyle with theirs, we would find a stark difference. We appear to be a product of the so-called pop culture, which has had a huge impact on our eating habits, social relationships and even our mindsets.
Not long ago, the age-old adage “Health is wealth” was an oft-repeated expression in our daily conversations. It seems that all of a sudden things turned upside down. Burgers, pizzas and fried foods replaced many of the healthy foods we used to consume. Fortunately, thanks to scientific research this generation is trying to return to its roots.
Realizing the importance of eating clean and healthy, people all over the world are switching to organic food and avoiding consuming processed and genetically modified foods.
Like elsewhere around the globe, Saudis are also keen on adopting a healthy lifestyle. Now we can see gyms almost in every nook and corner of the major cities of the Kingdom. Both men and women are focusing more on healthy options. In addition to gyms, one could also find hundreds of outlets offering healthy food options to health-conscious but busy people.
ALT Desserts is one such outlet that offers a healthier alternative to ice creams commonly available in markets. The shop only appears at pop-up and special catering events. They are hoping to open a permanent store in the near future.
It is an artisanal shaved ice company that is based in Jeddah. It was established in November 2018, by five Saudi youngsters: Hala Radwan, Nour Serafi, Mohammed Al-Sobhi, Hosam Hibshi and Alia Baroom.
ALT stands for Artisanal Light Taste and Texture “and also stands for Alternative,” Radwan told Arab News. The shaved ice company only uses the freshest organic ingredients in its products.
“By all organic, we ensure that we use the freshest ingredients and source organic ingredients,” said Radwan.
ALT Desserts offers a variety of flavors such as salted caramel, pistachio, chocolate, raspberry, pomegranate rose and mango. The store also caters to its vegan customers as it offers vegan salted caramel. “Our vegan options are done with homemade fresh nut milk, either Almond, Cashew or coconut milk,” she said.
The salted caramel is the most popular flavor followed by pomegranate rose and pistachio.
Explaining the making of ALT Desserts, Radwan said: “Shaved ice is a healthier version of ice cream as it is produced from a large block of flavored ice that has been prepped using fresh fruit, local ingredient and is free of any preservatives or additives. It then goes through a series of processes such as flash freezing, which contributes to its unique texture of freshly fallen snow.”
“We produce our shaved cream in small batches every day to ensure quality and freshness. All of our shaved cream is made on the premises with fresh organic dairy. We use quality, seasonal ingredients. We make every effort to procure all of our premium ingredients from their source, and in a responsible way.”
Keep up with the store on Instagram (@alt.dessert).


Jazz Pharma’s sleep disorder treatment gets US FDA nod

Updated 21 March 2019
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Jazz Pharma’s sleep disorder treatment gets US FDA nod

  • The drug, solriamfetol, will treat excessive sleepiness in adult patients with narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea
  • The patent of Jazz's narcolepsy drug, Xyrem, were declared invalid by a US appeals court in July
The US Food and Drug Administration approved Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc’s treatment for patients with a form of sleep disorder, the company said on Wednesday.
The drug, solriamfetol, will treat excessive sleepiness in adult patients with narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Solriamfetol is expected to be commercially available in the United States following the final scheduling decision by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Jazz said in a statement.
The approval comes as Jazz is trying to reduce its reliance on its blockbuster narcolepsy drug, Xyrem, whose patents were declared invalid by a US appeals court in July.
Xyrem is an approved treatment for excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy in patients with narcolepsy. It brought in sales of $1.4 billion in 2018 and accounted for about 70 percent of company’s revenue.
“Jazz is trying to reduce its reliance on Xyrem, and solriamfetol will be one of the drugs it plans to launch to do that,” Mizuho Securities USA analyst Irina Koffler said ahead of the agency’s decision.
“Solriamfetol is expected to be an important driver of both diversification and growth,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Randall Stanicky said in a note ahead of the approval.
Solriamfetol is expected to bring in revenue of $314 million by 2024, Stanicky said.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder with overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep, while obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that can cause breathing to repeatedly stop and start.
“Narcolepsy is very disabling to people as they often get diagnosed young and stop their education and drop out of high school or college,” Koffler said.
“Sleep apnea is a different problem in the sense that a lot of people don’t know they have it, have trouble breathing at night and they even fall asleep during the day.”