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Comvita Takes Remaining 50% Of Api-Med

Comvita Takes Remaining 50% Of Medical Honey Company Api-Med

AX-listed natural health products company Comvita announced today it has bought all the remaining shares in Cambridge-based Api-Med Medical Honey Limited.

One of Api-Med's UK customers recently received the European CE mark certification for its wound dressing products that will allow manuka honey dressings to be marketed directly to hospitals and clinics.

Comvita Chairman Bill Bracks in announcing full acquisition of Api-Med Honey Limited says the original 50% shareholding purchased in September was largely undertaken to secure the intellectual property for manufacturing wound dressings that are infused with high UMF manuka honey.

"The purchase of the remaining 50% of the company is a practical move that allows Comvita to add value to the company through entering new ethical medical markets where New Zealand's indigenous manuka honey has been embraced as a leading edge method of treating wounds and serious ulcers. It is a major step for the company by taking a position at the medical end of the health continuum.

Comvita's chief executive Graeme Boyd says the use of honey products in medical situations opens exciting new market potential for Comvita and New Zealand plus opening new economic opportunities for beekeepers and landowners.

Boyd says uses such as wound dressings add value to a natural resource and offer huge growth potential in international markets.

Api-Med is involved in clinical trials with the Auckland University's Clinical Trials Unit beginning in January.

Graeme Boyd says there is a large body of research now available on the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and of its rapid healing characteristics, spearheaded by Dr Peter Molan of Waikato University.

He says the clinical trials will provide the final level of certainty needed to take the products in to the medical field.

"We have long recognised there is solid revenue potential in the medical area for natural products companies that have strong research capabilities. We have been steadily working toward that goal of entering that market."

The Api-Med purchase is in line with the strategic focus of Comvita to be a leading player in wellness products through a genuine and resourced innovation programme. The purchase and clinical trials are part of a planned process of growth for the company.

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