It all started with a simple idea. Terry Hammerschmidt, the technical director and formulator for a regional pharmaceutical company, wanted to develop sustained release dietary supplements so that consumers would be getting all they were paying for. If a supplement company could deliver a truly superior quality product – and had a method of release that mimicked actual digestion – consumers would continue to come back.
His employer wasn’t interested, so he shared his ideas with a local pharmaceutical rep, Dick Porter. Porter was so impressed that he promised to give Terry the funds to start a business. In 1976, Terry founded Innovite Inc., a bulk contract vitamin producer that still produces several million tablets annually today.
The company was plugging along fine, manufacturing sustained release vitamins for several companies nationally. Then, in 1988, a Harvard study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. This study was confirmation of Terry’s wax matrix niacin formula. Not only was his formula able to be replicated so that every batch of tablets would dissolve in the same way (in other words, they all had the same “dissolution kinetics”), the slow release of nicotinic acid allowed for a more controlled absorption in the blood stream, minimizing the harmless yet bothersome side effect called “flushing."
A Star Product is Born
One day, a medical journalist called to ask if he could buy the product he’d read about in the Harvard study. Six months later the journalist called back to say that adding ENDUR-ACIN® Extended Release Niacin to his heart-healthy routine did more for his heart and cholesterol health than any diet or exercise prescription alone had done before.*
Soon after that phone call, the journalist wrote about his experience with ENDUR-ACIN® and the phone began to ring off the hook. Terry’s wife, Marianne, was forced to quit teaching to help keep up with the demand. Indeed, she created the mail order business that has become the backbone of the enterprise. Since Innovite Inc. was a bulk manufacturer, the Hammerschmidts decided to brand ENDUR-ACIN® under a new company: Endurance Products Company (EPC). Only one product existed on the first order form.
Fast forward a few years, and a national pharmacy chain caught wind of this specially formulated niacin. For the next 25 years, this pharmacy carried the ENDUR-ACIN® brand along with our EP® Plain Niacin (immediate release) product. The mail order business continued to grow, and EPC launched several additional wax matrix formulas via mail order. During those years, the company’s wax matrix niacin became a staple in the research community and has been the subject of over 23 peer-reviewed published studies.
EPC has grown steadily on the strength of recommendations by medical professionals and word-of-mouth because we sell products that have clinically shown dissolution kinetics that offer a definitive improvement in quality and efficacy.
Joe Joins the Company
Joe Brunner, a regional sales manager for a publicly traded chemical company, made frequent sales calls offering raw materials to Innovite. He and Terry struck up a friendship and one evening at dinner in 2000, Terry mentioned Dick Porter had retired. Terry said he was also looking to slow down, and that the number one goal on his bucket list was to move to Montana and live on a cattle ranch. At the same time, Joe’s sales job had him traveling Monday to Friday, which was taking a toll on him.
So Joe and his wife Jeanne struck a deal with the Hammerschmidts to buy out Terry’s partner. Today, the Brunners are running both companies and continuing the legacy of Terry’s philosophy of uncompromising quality.
With the Internet boom, the convenience of direct-to-consumer sales took off, and EPC launched a website offering several products with our sustained-release delivery technology. The fulfillment business created a huge increase in revenue along with the growth of the national pharmacy chain. Things couldn’t get any better!
Our New Factory
Fast forward to 2017. We were outgrowing our original manufacturing facility in Tigard, Oregon, and were ready for an upgrade. The company made plans to build a permanent location just 8 miles down the road in Sherwood, Oregon. We broke ground on a new state-of-the-art cGMP facility in 2017, and the first product rolled off the lines in June 2017. Now, we have the capacity to keep up with the needs of our ever-growing Endurance community.