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South Korean OK for BASF's Scottish Omega-3 plant

12-Mar-2013
Last updated on 12-Mar-2013 at 12:48 GMT

South Korean OK for BASF's Scottish Omega-3 plant

South Korean regulators have cleared BASF to produce pharmaceutical grade omega-3 at its facility in Scotland.

The approval follows a Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) inspection of the German chemical giant’s BASF Pharma Callanish omega-3 unit on the Isle of Lewis and increases its presence in a key market according to spokesman Andres-Christian Orthofer.

He told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “South Korea has an interesting omega-3 drug market both in terms of volume and value and we see opportunities to further grow the market with new omega-3 drug products.”

BASF already has ‘significant’ pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 sales in the country according to Orthofer continued, explaining that this was largely due to its recent acquisition, Norway-based manufacturer Pronova Biopharma .

One of the things that makes South Korea such an interesting market for BASF is 2012 legislation recommending that Koreans consume at least 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day  as part of a healthy diet, which is roughly eight times the minimum daily amount advised in Europe.

Omega-3 Pharma growth

The South Korean approval is part of a wider BASF effort to grow its pharmaceutical omega-3 fatty acid business globally that began with its purchase of Equateq and the Callanish facility in May last year.

Alan Poon, Head of BASF Pharma Ingredients & Services in Asia Pacific said: “We expect approvals in other Asian markets to follow, as we broaden our offering of omega-3 concentrates for the pharmaceutical sector even further.”

Orthofer echoed this, explaining that: “The market for omega-3 based drugs is relatively young with only a few drugs approved in a few countries.

Therefore, there are many opportunities globally to obtain regulatory approvals for existing omega-3 drugs and for future products.”

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