Actress/director Halle Berry has had several lucrative endorsement deals over her long career, including such brands as Revlon and Versace.
Now she’s turned the tables by becoming an equity owner and investor in Pendulum Therapeutics, a developer and marketer of four D2C probiotic supplements that deal largely with gut health. She’s also received the title of chief communications officer (CCO).
The amount of Berry’s investment into the 11-year-old private company was not revealed. In the past, Pendulum has reported raising some $111 million in funding, including from its very first investor: the Mayo Clinic.
Pendulum says it has a pharmaceutical-like, research-based approach to supplements, with studies published regularly in medical and scientific journals.
Halle Berry came proactively to Pendulum, Colleen Cutcliffe, the company’s chief executive officer and co-founder, tells Marketing Daily.
She says that Berry became a Pendulum user after researching the company and its scientific credibility. “That led her to reach out to me to learn more about what we were building. Halle and I immediately bonded on a variety of fronts: health, wellness, motherhood and the desire to bring meaningful change into the world.
“We could also see that she could play a really important role in messaging and communicating the value of Pendulum next-generation probiotics to help millions of people improve their health,” Cutcliffe continues. “That led to her equity investment and our offering her the chief communications officer role."
Berry’s role as CCO, Cutcliffe reveals, will include periodic seminars, podcasts, live interviews and social media advocacy. “Further, Halle will work closely with me to advise on product development and product packaging decisions that will be guided by our unified vision.”
As Berry notes in an announcement video, Pendulum’s products are designed to improved metabolic health by targeting gut microbiomes.
Microbiomes, Pendulum explains, are “the body’s complex ecosystem of cells, systems and processes all aided by microorganisms that work together to keep us healthy.”
In a recent report, research firm Technovia projected that the global microbiomes market will grow by $891.4 million over the next five years, saying that modulation of the gut microbiome “can significantly improve responses in many cancer treatments. In the treatment of diabetes and obesity, microbiome therapy can successfully control energy metabolism as well as glucose and lipid balance.”
Pendulum’s products, being supplements and not prescription drugs, can make no such claims under U.S. law. Those products currently include: Akkermansia, said to improve digestive health; Metabolic Daily, “to help break down fiber, sugar and carbohydrates”; GI Repair, to relieve “occasional bloating and gas”; and Glucose Control, specifically for type 2 diabetes patients, to help lower A1C levels and post-meal glucose spikes.
“Unlike off-the-shelf probiotics, our novel anaerobic strains are rigorously tested, DNA-sequenced, and actively grown in our facility using an innovative method that mirrors the conditions of your gut,” boasts Pendulum’s website.
The supplements are now available online only, through PendulumLife.com, Amazon, Walmart, Fullscript and others.
Cutcliffe hints that non-online distribution may be in the works. “Pendulum products are not currently sold at any brick-and-mortar locations,” she tells us, "but stay tuned!”