AXM have also been given a right-of-first-refusal to use the brand name for these products in territories in Asia where there is no licensee.
AXM's vitamin and vitamin supplement product line, which includes chewable, tablet and capsule forms, expect to generate significant revenue. New legislative initiatives and the accelerating pace of development in the Chinese retail pharmacy sector substantiate the expectations.
Peter Cunningham, president and CEO of AXM Pharma said: "The Sunkist brand has been associated with a variety of juice-based beverages in China, and is now the 10th largest brand in the country."
Sold in more than 50 countries, Sunkist branded products generates more than $2 billion in annual sales. Cunningham believes success of the brand will extend towards the Asian market.
"We believe that widespread recognition of the Sunkist name will give branded vitamins immediate market acceptance in China."
"The Chinese have a deep sense of personal responsibility when it comes to health and wellness, and we believe that our new product line fits neatly into that belief system," said Cunningham.
AXM will focus its marketing efforts on China because it is one of the fastest growing OTC markets in the world. A recent IMS (Shanghai) China Market Analysis shows that the country's OTC pharmaceutical market is currently valued at approximately US$2.5 billion and is forecast to grow to approximately US$4 billion in 2005. This represents an annual growth rate of about 30 per cent.
Cunningham added: "Our strengths in manufacturing and distribution in China combined with our focus on introducing new products with high-profile brand recognition will allow us to grab market share."
"Asian consumers are extremely brand conscious, so the marriage of the right product with a well-regarded brand name is the key to tremendous growth."