Micap sets sights on food, supplement market with R&S deal

Related tags Pharmacology

UK-based Micap has bought the German microencapsulation firm Rendel
& Scherer for around €1 million in a bid to grow its sales in a
new market, reports Dominique Patton.

Micap's technology using the yeast cell wall to encapsulate and deliver active ingredients has mainly attracted interest from the pharmaceutical sector, with current projects including a deal with leading UK drug delivery firm SkyePharma.

Its technology is also used by flavours firm Firmenich in the Thermarome brand.

However turnover generated to date has been disappointing and the AIM-listed firm will be hoping to grow sales with Rendel's intellectual property giving it access to the food and supplement markets.

Based in Bremerhaven, Germany, Rendel was set up in 2002 to focus on the food industry and it has expanded its activities into the nutraceutical and cosmeceutical markets, areas with good growth and product development that have previously been cited by Micap as offering significant opportunity.

Rendel currently has long-term royalty and contractual arrangements with inter alia, a German flavour house and supplier of cultures to the bakery and wine industry. It has also recently supplied essential oils encapsulated in a novel delivery system to a cosmetics partner for use in a new product.

In addition, the German firm is a partner in a European Network project called Flow-cap, working on developing a system to protect live probiotic bacteria during processing for the cheese and confectionery industries.

Michael Brennand, CEO of Micap​, said the deal would help the firm's drive to commercialise products for the natural healthcare market, "where the opportunities for new product developments utilising microencapsulation are significant".

Micap has also recently acquired pharmaceutical services firm Applied Analysis (in November 2004), giving it know-how in extraction and formulation of both pharma compounds and plant extracts and natural oils, backing its offering to the supplements sector.

One of the key advantages of Micap's technology is that it can carry much higher concentrations of hydrophobic compounds - which are poorly soluble and so hard to formulate - than other encapsulation methods.

The technology does away with the need for solubilising additives, and can also combine additional compounds, such as taste-masking flavours, alongside active ingredients in the same microcapsule.

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