BLIS Technologies Ltd reveals major US retailer
For Immediate Release
16 October 2009
BLIS Technologies Ltd reveals major US retailer
Dunedin based BLIS Technologies Ltd (NZX: BLT), developers and manufacturers of products and ingredients for the oral healthcare market, is able to confirm to shareholders, the identity of the major US based retailer undertaking a 50-store commercial trial of the BLIS K12 probiotic. This novel probiotic ingredient is used in retail products for the management and prevention of certain upper respiratory tract infections such as “strep” sore throats and tonsillitis, etc.
The US based company is Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco), which is considered the largest retail membership warehouse club chain in the world and is the fifth largest general retailer in the United States. This product is currently being sold through the giant US retailer under the brand called BioGuard™ and was developed for the US market by the publicly-listed dietary supplement manufacturer, Imagenetix Inc. to provide around the clock natural protection of the ear, nose and throat, the gateway to many illnesses. According to Imagenetix the BLIS K12, in their BioGuard™ product was selected as the key active ingredient for their product, because it met their high standards for both scientific support and credibility as well as being a truly novel ingredient.
The BioGuard product will be sold in the dietary supplement section of Costco and is granted the status of FSA (Flexible spending account) eligible by the US IRS (Internal Revenue Service). The FSA plan was set up by the US Government to enable US employers to provide a tax deductable and discretionary spending account for their employees to then purchase specific health care products and services of their own choosing.
Dr Barry Richardson, Chief Executive Officer, said, ``This is further evidence that the market strategy of focusing on the US dietary supplement market is working well for us. We chose to leverage our experience and knowledge from the New Zealand retail market over the past 5 years to assist our client companies in the United States to succeed in bringing new retail products to market. BLIS Technologies Ltd has become the recognized expert in the oral healthcare segment of the dietary supplements market.’’
In addition to the Costco announcement, Dr Richardson also indicates that US dietary supplement manufacturer, Nature’s Plus has now successfully launched it’s first BLIS M18 product called `Tooth Fairy’. The active ingredient in this product; BLIS M18 is an advanced oral-care probiotic, which was specifically developed for the prevention of tooth decay. The Tooth Fairy product from Nature’s Plus is targeted at the children’s oral-care segment and was launched in the US, to coincide with the start of the new school year in early September. Dr Richardson also reaffirms the guidance he gave to shareholders at the annual general meeting on 31 July 2009 that there would be 6 new retail products launched in the United States before the end of the financial year, 31st March 2010, which will contain either the BLIS K12 or BLIS M18 advanced probiotics.
The company also advises that they remain on track with their US regulatory approval with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have the probiotic BLIS K12 affirmed as an allowable ingredient for food in the United States. The GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) process is a requirement for the inclusion into a food product in the United States but is not required for the US dietary supplement industry. In addition to regulatory progress in the United States, the company is well advanced in the regulatory approvals with Health Canada. Once approved, it will enable the inclusion of BLIS K12 as an approved ingredient in the Canadian dietary supplement or NHP market. This process is expected to be completed before Dec 2009.
BLIS Technologies and its global distribution partner Frutarom, continue to progress business development activities in Asia and indicated the launch of first retail product in Japan to contain the BLIS K12. The product called EPOCA is sold through the Japanese health products distributor, ISK Corporation.
Finally, Dr Richardson advises that two new Notices of Intention to grant a patent have been received by the company. Both notices are from the European Patent Office (EPO) and one relates to the BLIS M18 probiotic and the associated prevention of tooth decay, while the other notice relates to a probiotic that is still at a very early stage of development but has been shown to have promising antibacterial effects on skin.
BLIS Technologies Ltd will be releasing its half yearly earnings for the period ending 30 Sept 2009 in late November.