Neptune Obtains a Third U.S. Patent on Phospholipid Compositions, Further
Bolstering Neptune's Request for an ITC Investigation
LAVAL, Quebec, Feb. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Technologies &
Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune" or the "Corporation") (Nasdaq:NEPT) (TSX:NTB)
announces that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (the "USPTO") has granted to
Neptune a new continuation patent, U.S. Patent 8,383,675 (the "'675 Patent").
This new patent claims the benefit of prior Neptune U.S. Patent Nos. 8,030,348
and 8,278,351. The '675 Patent contains a single claim directed to a capsule
comprising an Antarctic krill oil extract comprising a phospholipid suitable
for human consumption. This claim covers most, if not all, krill oil products
presently sold in the U.S. market, as well as the pharmaceutical concentrates
of Neptune's subsidiaries Acasti Pharma and NeuroBioPharm.
Henri Harland, President and CEO of Neptune, commented: "This is not "just
another patent for Neptune." It is part of Neptune's IP strategy, and it
reinforces Neptune's continual effort to build its patent portfolio and defend
its rights. Neptune's recent filing of a complaint with the United States
International Trade Commission (the "ITC"), as well as the issuance of this
third composition patent in the United States, are part of Neptune's well
thought and ongoing IP action plan."
"We are well aware that infringers will claim that the '675 Patent is invalid.
They may file requests for re-examination and use other administrative means
available to slow down the process. But, the fact remains: our patents are
valid and infringed. Neptune has always been forthright with the USPTO. As in
all of our other patent application files, we provided to the USPTO during the
prosecution of the '675 Patent all relevant documents and record evidence from
every re-examination and opposition proceeding filed worldwide. Regardless of
what our competitors claim, the USPTO, after thorough examinations, continues
to grant patents to Neptune," added Mr. Harland.
Neptune intends to file an amended complaint in the ITC to add allegations of
infringement of the '675 Patent against all of the proposed respondents,
including Aker BioMarine, Enzymotec and Rimfrost USA. Accordingly, Neptune has
requested and been granted by the ITC a postponement of the deadline by which
the ITC will decide whether to institute an investigation.
"The addition of the '675 Patent to the complaint will further strengthen
Neptune's position before the ITC," said Benoit Huart, General Counsel of
Neptune. "All of the proposed respondents will be facing an action for
infringement of two (2) patents that read directly on their krill oil
products. The amendment of Neptune's complaint may delay the institution of
the investigation before the ITC by a few weeks, but we are adding a new
patent granted by the USPTO after a thorough review of all prior art submitted
by Aker in re-examination proceedings directed at related Neptune patents. We
are confident that Neptune will prevail before the ITC," he concluded.
About Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
Neptune is a biotechnology company engaged primarily in the development and
commercialization of marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or
PUFAs. Neptune has a patented process of extracting oils from Antarctic krill,
which omega-3 PUFAs are then principally sold as bulk oil to Neptune's
distributors who commercialize them under their private label primarily in the
U.S., European and Asian neutraceutical markets. Neptune's lead products,
Neptune Krill Oil (NKO®) and ECOKRILL Oil (EKO™), generally come in capsule
form and serve as a dietary supplement to consumers.
Through its subsidiaries Acasti Pharma and NeuroBioPharm, in which Neptune
respectively holds 57% and 99% of the voting rights, Neptune is also pursuing
opportunities in the medical food and prescription drug markets. Acasti and
NeuroBio respectively focus on the research and development of safe and
therapeutically effective compounds for highly prevalent atherosclerotic
conditions, such as cardiometabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases, and
for neurodegenerative and inflammation related conditions. Acasti's lead
prescription drug candidate is CaPre®, a purified high omega-3 phospholipid
concentrate derived from Neptune krill oil being developed to address the
prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic disorders, including
hypertriglyceridemia, which is characterized by abnormally high levels of
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release may be considered
forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws and
forward-looking statements within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws,
both of which we refer to as forward-looking statements. Such statements
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may
cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from
those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be
read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking
statements are based on Neptune's current beliefs as well as assumptions made
by and information currently available to Neptune and relate to, among other
things, Neptune's strategy, strategic goals, research and development
activities, research and clinical testing outcome, future operations, future
financial position, future revenues/results, projected costs, prospects and
plans and objectives of management.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking
statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to
risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by
Neptune in its amended and restated annual information form dated September
11, 2012, in its press release announcing an action plan to resume operations
and supply customers dated November 26, 2012 and in its other public
securities filings available at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml,
actual events may differ materially from current expectations. Except as
required by law, Neptune disclaims any intention or obligation to update or
revise any forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Neptune Contact:
Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
Andre Godin, CFO
Howard Group Contact:
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