Speciality chemicals business Cognis has signed an agreement with Natural, a Norwegian research and development company, which gives it worldwide marketing and manufacturing rights for two of Natural's CLA brands.
The agreement, effective from 1 September 2002, gives Cognis an exclusive licence in the key markets - dietary supplement, food ingredient, pharmaceutical and cosmetic - to Natural's conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) intellectual property and technology, and for the use of the Tonalin trademark.
Conjugated linoleic acid has been shown to be a beneficial fatty acid which is not synthesised by the human body and which must therefore be consumed in the diet. Tonalin CLA, a high CLA content formulation, is primarily marketed today as a dietary supplement with benefits for lean body mass management. Other health-enhancing applications for CLA are being developed.
The licensing agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding announced on 24 April 2002.
Patent rights licensed exclusively to Natural from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), a not-for-profit organisation, are part of the agreement.
"Cognis is committed to building the Tonalin mark's excellent brand equity on a worldwide basis in the dietary supplement, food ingredient, pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets," said Paul Allen, group vice president of Cognis Nutrition and Health.
"We are dedicated to funding new research and clinical studies to further develop the science for Tonalin CLA in the key markets," added Allen.
In addition to its scientific programme, Cognis is planning an advertising and public relations campaign to strengthen the Tonalin brand name's visibility among consumers.
The agreement will help Cognis build on its product portfolio of nature-based ingredients for a variety of markets. Cognis will take over global sales responsibility on 1 September 2002.