The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Votes to Institute Patent
Infringements Investigation Based on Neptune & Acasti Complaint
LAVAL, Quebec, April 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Technologies &
Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune") (Nasdaq:NEPT) (TSX:NTB) and Acasti Pharma Inc.
("Acasti") (Nasdaq:ACST) (TSX-V:APO), a Neptune subsidiary, announce that the
U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to institute an investigation of
alleged patent infringements by Aker BioMarine AS; Aker BioMarine Antarctic
USA, Inc.; Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS; Enzymotec Limited; Enzymotec USA,
Inc.; Olympic Seafood AS; Olympic Biotec Ltd.; Avoca, Inc.; Rimfrost USA, LLC
and Bioriginal Food & Science Corp. (collectively the "Respondents").
The investigation was instituted on the basis of a complaint filed with the
ITC by Neptune and Acasti earlier this year.The complaint alleges violations
by the respondents regarding the importation into the United States and sale
of certain omega-3 extracts and products from marine or aquatic biomass that
infringe certain Neptune and Acasti patents.Neptune and Acasti requested that
the ITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order to ban the
importation and sale of infringing extracts and products.
"The ITC's decision to institute an investigation following our claims of
alleged patent infringements by our competitors is significant, not only
because it reflects tangible progress in line with our strategic action plan
to protect our intellectual property (IP), but also because it allows us to
establish a clear and defined short term timeline to conclude matters," said
Mr. Henri Harland, President and CEO of Neptune and Acasti. "Neptune and
Acasti's IP is strong and valuable and it is management's duty to defend it,
not only for business ethical reasons, but mainly because it is a fundamental
asset and an important part of our shareholder value as it pertains to both
our neutraceutical and pharmaceutical businesses," added Mr. Harland.
According to the notice issued by the ITC, a target date for completing the
investigation will be set within 45 days after institution of the
investigation.Full text of the ITC announcement can be found at
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 and NeuroBioPharm Inc. ("NeuroBio"), 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.
About Acasti Pharma Inc.
Acasti is developing a product portfolio of proprietary novel long-chain
omega-3 phospholipids. Phospholipids are the major component of cell membranes
and are essential for all vital cell processes. They are one of the principal
constituents of High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and, as such, play
an important role in modulating cholesterol efflux. Acasti's proprietary novel
phospholipids carry and functionalize the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which have been
shown to have substantial health benefits and which are stabilized by potent
antioxidants. Acasti is focusing initially on treatments for chronic
cardiovascular and cardiometabolic conditions within the over-the-counter,
medical food and prescription drug markets. 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 triglycerides.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain information that may constitute
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 information. Forward-looking
information can be identified by the use of terms such as "may", "will",
"should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate",
"predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions concerning
matters that are not statements about the present or historical facts, and
includes information relating to the conduct of the investigation of the ITC.
The forward-looking information is subject to a number of known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond Neptune and
Acasti's control, that could cause actual results and developments to differ
materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by the forward-looking
information. Consequently, all the forward-looking information is qualified by
this cautionary statement and there can be no guarantee that the results or
developments that Neptune and Acasti anticipate will be realized or, even if
substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences or
effects on Neptune and Acasti's respective business, financial condition or
results of operations.
Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and estimates
that, while considered reasonable by management of Neptune and Acasti based on
the business and markets in which Neptune and Acasti respectively operate, are
inherently subject to significant operational, economic and competitive
uncertainties and contingencies and relate to, among other things, each of the
companies' strategies, strategic goals, research and development activities,
research and clinical testing outcomes, future operations, future financial
positions, future revenues/results, projected costs, prospects and plans and
objectives of management.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking
information, which speaks only as of the date of this press release. Due to
risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by
Acasti in its management discussion & analysis for the three and nine-month
periods ended November 30, 2012, the risks and uncertainties identified by
Neptune in its amended and restated annual information form dated September
11, 2012 and in its press release announcing an action plan to resume
operations and supply customers dated November 26, 2012, and the risks and
uncertainties respectively identified by Neptune and Acasti in their other
public securities filings available at www.sedar.com and
www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml, actual events may differ materially from current
expectations. The forward-looking information in this press release is made as
of the date of this press release, and Neptune and Acasti disclaim any
intention or obligation to update or revise such information, except as
required by applicable law, and neither Neptune nor Acasti assume any
liability for disclosure relating to the other company herein.
CONTACT: Neptune Contact:
Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
Andre Godin, CFO
Chief Financial Officer
Howard Group Contact:
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.