Ben Franklin Technology Partners invests in ERApeutics

Ben Franklin Technology Partners has invested in ERApeutics. Financial terms weren’t announced. ERApeutics, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, provides brain health supplements. The Ben Franklin investments will be used to develop and commercialize a walnut-based functional beverage, BrainMilk.


LANCASTER, Pa., Aug. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Jordan Balencic and Tessa Balencic, founders of Lancaster-based ERApeutics® today announced their company has received an investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners for the development and commercialization of a new walnut-based functional beverage, BrainMilk®. ERApeutics® also announced a multi-year research collaboration with Penn State University (PSU), led by Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at PSU and one of the world’s foremost experts on walnut-based nutrition.

According to ERApeutics’® CEO Jordan Balencic, DO, BrainMilk® will offer a low-calorie cognitive boost that tastes good. Plans are to have BrainMilk® available for consumer purchase in 2020.

“We are pleased to support research that will further ERApeutics’® plans to commercialize unique plant-based dairy-alternative products that are on-trend in the brain-health space and hold the promise of being beneficial to consumers of all ages,” said John Sider, Director of Second Stage Capital, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA.

“We are incredibly excited to have Dr. Kris-Etherton, who specializes in studies of cardiovascular nutrition and cardiometabolic disease, lead the study to independently confirm BrainMilk’s cognitive benefits,” said Dr. Balencic.

“We will run a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of BrainMilk®’s benefits in cognition in elderly people,” said Dr. Kris-Etherton. “Our hypothesis is that it will benefit cognition. I’m excited to be part of the BrainMilk® clinical trial because many research studies have shown the multiple health benefits of walnuts as they relate to so many major diseases that affect Americans. Walnuts have been shown to benefit cognition, heart health and diabetes. Our study of BrainMilk® is an amazing opportunity to further advance scientific understanding of nutrition’s impact on cognitive brain health.

“Walnuts are an amazing source of nutrition. They are high in polyunsaturated fat and are the only tree nut that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Too often, Americans have difficulty incorporating walnuts routinely in their diets, especially those people for whom walnuts are hard to chew and digest. BrainMilk® will be a powerful and convenient way to enjoy the health benefits of walnuts,” said Dr. Kris-Etherton.

“ERApeutics’ first product,  Prolimbic 29®, is a supplement that helps people improve mental clarity. ERApeutics’ mission is to bring a new era of honesty and science-based transparency to the supplement industry,” said Tessa Balencic, whose ecommerce store sells her products as well as other carefully curated supplements.

“BrainMilk® will be one of the first cognitive health or functional beverages to be launched with academic research supporting the actual product itself,” said Dr. Balencic. “Some beverage companies make claims by citing independent studies on just one or more of the ingredients in the product. We are happy to have earned the Ben Franklin investment to help fund ERApeutics’ collaboration with Penn State University, which will result in unbiased research on the actual BrainMilk® product.”