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Local biotechnology companies in the spotlight in Europe

Local biotechnology companies in the spotlight in Europe

26 May 2014 - Two Christchurch biotechnology companies, Olympic Biotec Ltd and Waitaki Biosciences, the trading division of PharmaZen Ltd, have pooled their expertise to produce the world’s first 100% krill powder.

The Rimfrost Pristine Krill Powder was recently in the spotlight at Vitafoods Europe, Europe’s largest nutraceutical show, held in Geneva.

Rimfrost Pristine is the first 100% krill powder to be developed internationally, offering a new opportunity for international manufacturers of nutraceuticals and health supplements to extend their range of health promoting omega-3 products – with potential benefits to cardiovascular and joint health among other uses.

The two local companies worked jointly on this project over the past 12-18 months, leveraging off their respective strengths – the high-quality krill raw material of Olympic Biotec, coupled with the acknowledged manufacturing and processing capabilites of PharmaZen.

John Cameron, managing director of Olympic Biotec Ltd, said it was extremely pleasing to reach this milestone after many months of research, development and refining the manufacturing process.

”Olympic has strong expertise in fishing, the harvesting of krill and the manufacturing of high quality krill products. To develop a powder product was a further step, and we lent heavily on PharmaZen’s long experience in manufacturing powdered marine ingredients.”

PharmaZen CEO Craig McIntosh was delighted with his company’s involvement.

”Olympic Biotec identified a significant market opportunity that was a bit of a reach technically. We had a very open dialogue, bouncing concepts back and forward between the companies until we had the product finalised.”

Early feedback from the market has been extremely positive and Olympic is now developing its global strategy to meet this demand, Mr Cameron said.

Olympic Biotec is one of the fastest growing companies in New Zealand’s biotechnology sector. It achieved sales of close to $10 million in 2012, its first year of operation and more than doubled that to well over $20 million by year end 2013.

“This growth reflects the rapid growth of the international market for krill oil and the company’s ability to move quickly to secure opportunities within that sector,” Mr Cameron said.

“Our success is based on having extremely strong sales networks, the development of processing capabilities and a strong commitment to research and technical innovation.

In New Zealand, we have made large investments in a number of processing sites and have also invested heavily with research institutes both in New Zealand and overseas.”

Mr Cameron said two other Christchurch nutraceutical companies present in Geneva under-scored the strength of the local nutraceutical cluster. Aroma New Zealand and Bio-Mer were also exhibiting, while local marketer and distributor RMF Nutraceuticals also had a presence.


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