Cognis, the speciality chemicals and nutritional ingredients company, has signed an agreement with Norwegian firm Natural which will give Cognis the exclusive licence to Natural's Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) IP, know-how, and trademarks.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cognis will also hold the rights to the worldwide marketing and manufacturing of Natural's products and technology for dietary supplements, functional food, personal care, and pharmaceuticals.
Natural's Tonalin brand is primarily marketed as a dietary supplement with benefits for lean body mass management. Other health inducing applications for CLA, an essential fatty acid, are being developed, Natural said.
CLA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is a natural part of the human diet through its presence in meat and dairy products. The CLA content of natural dairy products has fallen over time, and the human body now needs to supplement its consumption of CLA from other sources. Natural has developed and patented a number of CLA-containing substances, and expects to see CLA used in the future for preventive medical purposes.
"Dietary supplements and functional foods are two of the key market segments of Cognis' designated growth business unit, Nutrition & Health," said Paul Allen, head of the unit. "Building on the scientific work of Natural, Cognis will be able to considerably grow the market for CLA through the talents of our worldwide sales and marketing organisation, as well as through our know-how in oleochemistry."
Cognis said that it expected to begin assuming responsibility for Natural's business activities in July 2002.