Neptune Provides Update on European Patent Dispute and Maintains Its
International Patent Strategy
LAVAL, Quebec, April 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Technologies &
Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune" or the "Corporation") (Nasdaq:NEPT) (TSX:NTB)
announces that it is moving forward with its international patent strategy and
is not affected in any way by the recent action by the European Patent
Office's Technical Appeal Board (the "Board") to dismiss Neptune's appeal
related to one of its European patents, specifically EP 1417211. The Board was
solely concerned with the issue of flavonoids in krill extracts. Importantly
the Board did not address phospholipid compositions, which form a large part
of Neptune's extensive international patent portfolio.
This European patent relates to an extract containing specific flavonoids.
Europe is the only jurisdiction where Neptune's patent portfolio includes
flavonoids in the independent claims. In fact, this European patent was one of
the first patents obtained by Neptune and it reflected an initial market study
indicating that flavonoids could eventually be commercially important and
sought after by consumers. Neptune's later market analysis showed that omega-3
phospholipids are more important for consumers. As such, all of Neptune's
subsequent composition patent applications were drafted accordingly, taking
into account the importance of phospholipids.
Therefore, the decision by the Board will not impact in any way the ongoing
disputes in the U.S. and elsewhere, including Neptune's recent filing with the
U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
Benoit Huart, General Counsel of Neptune, stated that "the status of this
patent has practically no impact on our business: it concerns flavonoids, not
phospholipids.Whenever we have pursued patent protection covering
phospholipids, such as in the U.S., Australia, and Canada, we did not base it
on flavonoids and we have succeeded with the issuance and allowance of patents
in those jurisdictions.This opposition has also given us an opportunity to
gather strategic information, which will be useful as we continue to execute
our international patent strategy."
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 96% 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:
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.