Swedish biotech company Probi has signed a licence agreement with the Australian probiotics supplier Health World. The agreement gives Health World the right to market products containing one of Probi's patented bacteria on the Australian and New Zealand market.
The agreement for dietary supplements follows a similar one with French dairy firm Danone, for use of its bacteria in the food category.
"Apart from showing the quality of the patented bacteria, it confirms Probi's ability to commercialise another business area, confirming our business model," said Peter Zakrisson, chairman of Probi, on the new agreement.
Australia's well-developed natural health industry has a total turnover in excess of SK5 billion (€548m) a year. Probi estimates the market for probiotic dietary supplements to be worth between SK100-150 million a year, with an annual growth rate between 15 and 20 per cent.
The largest supplier of probiotics to the Australian market, Health World will launch the first product containing Probi's cultures in June 2003 at the International Congress of Natural Medicine in Melbourne.
"Through Health World, we reach a leading market in the area of natural medicines and dietary supplements. The global market for natural medicine and supplements is still quite heterogenic. Therefore our goal is to reach licence agreements with leaders in important markets," said Monica Wallter, CEO of Probi.
As part of the agreement, Probi will supply Health World with bacterial culture and support Health World with updated research and development and consulting related to Probi's patented bacteria.
"Through Probi we get patented probiotic bacteria that have shown effectiveness in several medical areas in extensive clinical studies. This builds confidence among our customers - something that is crucial in today's market of natural medicine and dietary supplements," said Alan Gee, managing director of Health World.
Probi holds around 60 patents in 13 different areas. R&D is focused on gastrointestinal disorders, immune defence, cardiovascular disease risk factors and stress.