Kerry Group plc, Tralee, Ireland, announced that it has acquired Wellmune, a 100 percent natural food, beverage and supplement ingredient clinically proven to help strengthen the immune system, from Eagan, Minn.-based Biothera Inc.

“At Kerry, cutting-edge science and technology informs everything we help shape and create. The addition of Wellmune to our portfolio offers Kerry tremendous growth opportunities globally,” said Michael O’Neill, nutrition president at Kerry, in a statement. “This natural immunity enhancer strengthens our nutrition and general wellness capabilities and complements our taste solutions for applications in food, beverages and supplements.”

Richard G. Mueller, chief executive officer of Biothera, added: “The combination of Biothera’s technology and Kerry’s leadership in R&D, nutritional science and forward looking market insights, will advance the science of immune health and help create new and innovative food, beverages and supplements. Wellmune is a great fit for Kerry’s portfolio of science-based, nutritional ingredients.”

Backed by more than 10 clinical studies, Wellmune is a proprietary yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan with regulatory approval in major markets around the world, the company says. Products with Wellmune are available in more than 60 countries. Wellmune is patented, kosher, halal, non-allergenic, GMO-free, gluten-free and Informed-Sport Certified.