The license applies to all countries excluding Korea and is applicable to Polymann technology that has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by over 20 percent.
Health Sciences Group acquired the license through the purchase of Polymann Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UTEK Corporation, in a tax-free stock-for-stock exchange.
"With over 100 million Americans diagnosed with high cholesterol, we believe the market for a natural, non-prescription supplement is very attractive for the health-conscious consumer," said Fred Tannous, CEO of Health Sciences Group, adding that he expects his company to introduce several new products containing Polymann in 2005.
Polymann was originally developed by the Korean biotech company KBP, as a nutraceutical product derived from seaweed using a patented extraction method.
Health Sciences Group cites several clinical studies in which Polymann's effectiveness in reducing serum and liver cholesterol as well as controlling serum and liver triglyceride levels has apparently been demonstrated.
The group says that in one clinical study conducted on 57 patients, 3g/day of Polymann was administered orally for 30 days without restricting food intake or altering normal diet. It was found that the cholesterol level in all patients had decreased by 22.7 percent.
In another clinical trial conducted with animals, notes the group, the LDL-cholesterol level ("bad cholesterol") decreased by 59 percent in the serum and by 74 percent in the liver while the HDL-cholesterol level ("good cholesterol") increased by 4.6 times in the serum and 1.2 times in the liver. In the same study, the triglyceride level decreased by 42 percent in the serum and by 48 percent in the liver.
The group believes that this data will give the Polymann products a competitive edge over other natural cholesterol lowering products already attracting attention from consumers worried about the potential side-effects of synthetic drugs.
Polymann, is an odorless/tasteless powder that, says the company, can be used in a variety of compositions including nutritional supplements, functional foods and beverages and powdered drink mixes. The group anticipates that all compositions of Polymann will be GRAS-certified (Generally Recognized as Safe).
More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol levels. For the 65 million who are 'borderline high', (200-239 mg/dL), lifestyle modifications such as diet can play a role in maintaining normal cholesterol levels, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
The group also announced that it has discontinued operations of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Quality Botanical Ingredients (QBI), a manufacturer and contract processor of bulk botanical materials and nutritional ingredients that it acquired in 2002.
"While QBI has been a positive contributor to the company's consolidated revenues, its earnings and cash flow contribution has been negative," said Bill Glaser, president of Health Sciences Group. He said he believes the discontinuation of QBI's low-margin, commodity business will improve the company's consolidated operations by reducing operating losses and a working capital deficit.
"As a result, we believe future deployment of capital resources toward higher-margin products with greater market potential will quickly result in revenues that surpass previous figures," he added.
In addition to the acquisition of Polymann, Glaser cited the impending purchase of Swiss Research as a factor that will give Health Sciences Group the potential to achieve profitability in 2005.
The group decided to acquire Los Angeles based Swiss Research in August in an effort to expand its retail channels.
Swiss Research markets and sells branded nutraceutical products, which address a variety of major health needs such as weight management, arthritis support and cholesterol reduction. The company develops and markets its own line of products, including the weight-loss product Swiss Diet, and Shugr, a natural zero-calorie sweetener that the company claims looks, tastes and cooks like sugar.
"In addition to offering progressive packaging concepts and an impressive brand identity, Swiss Research gives us immediate access to over 3,000 national retail locations through stores like Eckerd Drug and Price Choppers," said Tannous this summer.