- Composition of Matter Patent Granted and Enforceable in 24 European
- Competitors Precluded from Immediate Commercialization of Competitive
LAVAL, QC, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Neptune Technologies & Bioressources
Inc. ("Neptune") (NASDAQ.NEPT - TSX.V.NTB) announces that the European Patent
Office (EPO) granted on May 31st 2007 Neptune's composition of matter patent
entitled "Natural Marine Source Phospholipids comprising flavonoids,
polyunsaturated fatty acids and their applications" (EP01417211B1) and that
this patent has now been issued and validated in twenty-four European
This patent is directed to the use of Neptune marine phospholipid and
flavonoid compositions as a medicament for the prevention and treatment of
multiple chronic health conditions, including coronary artery disease caused
by hypercholesterolemia, peripheral vascular disease, neurodegenerative and
other cognitive disorders.
"This composition of matter patent is a critical achievement that
constitutes a key component for our commercial pharmaceutical development
program," said Dr. Tina Sampalis, Chief Scientific Officer of Neptune.
"Neptune's mission has always been the development of innovative
pharmaceutical ingredients, and this patent is viewed as a vital element
towards Neptune's pharmaceutical initiatives. Its enforcement is a major
accomplishment and a step forward," she added.
As part of the EPO procedure, within a nine-month period following the
date of granting of the European patent, a notice of opposition can be filed
in writing with the EPO. In the case of Neptune, oppositions were filed by
Norway-based Aker BioMarine and Israel-based Enzymotec. The opposition
proceedings are a multi-year (5-7 year) procedure with the potential outcome
of maintaining the patent, amending it or, in certain cases, revoking it.
According to EPO regulations, the opposed patent is considered and remains
granted and enforceable in all countries in which it has been validated. The
patent continues to preclude the competition from commercializing products as
krill oil containing marine phospholipids in these European countries,
providing only the patent holder with the benefit of exclusive
"It is commonly viewed that oppositions in Europe are considered as an
indication of the importance of the patent in preventing commercial
competitors in the field and strengthen the patent owner's intellectual
property and market position after maintenance," said Gérard Dossman, patent
opposition attorney from the European Bureau D.A. Casalonga-Josse.
"The importance of this patent is highlighted by the fact that that this
is the first composition patent granted to the company, allowing them to
secure a growing market. Since in Europe opposed patents remain granted and
enforceable in all validated countries, Neptune has created a major barrier to
competitive market entry," said patent agent Christian Cawthorn of Ogilvy
The twenty four countries in which the European patent has been
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia,
Sweden and Turkey.
About Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
Neptune researches and develops proprietary bioactive ingredients and
products for nutraceutical, medical food and pharmaceutical applications.
Through clinical research, Neptune is showing the clinical benefits of its
products in various therapeutic indications with a focus on cardiovascular and
cognitive health. The Company has been successful in patenting and protecting
its intellectual property, and will continue to protect its innovations.
Neptune has already obtained regulatory approvals allowing commercialization
of its products and has filed for and is expecting additional approvals.
Neptune continues to strongly support its strategic development plan to
form partnerships/strategic alliances with worldwide leaders in the
nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Neptune has recently signed
agreements with Nestlé and Yoplait, worldwide leading food manufacturers,
paving its entrance into the global functional food market. According to its
business strategy, negotiations with pharmaceutical companies with the
objective of entering the pharmaceutical market by licensing rights are
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adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical or
current fact constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the
U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Canadian securities
laws. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties, and other unknown factors that could cause the actual results
of the Company to be materially different from historical results or from any
future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In
addition to statements which explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties,
readers are urged to consider statements labeled with the terms "believes,"
"belief," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "will," or "plans" to be
uncertain and forward-looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein
are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described
from time to time in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities commissions.
For further information:
For further information: Toni Rinow, Ph.D., MBA, Corporate Development &
Investor Relations, Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc., (450) 687-2262,