VitaCube open to R&D acquisitions
beverage portfolio in innovative ingredients, by signing a
strategic license agreement with technology transfer company UTEK,
reports Jess Halliday.
The agreement puts UTEK on the alert for proprietary technologies that are synergistic with VitaCube's core business and available for acquisition from universities and research laboratories.
VitaCube founder Sandy Greenberg told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the company is particularly interested in antioxidants and technologies that limit free radical damage, as well as methods for feeding the body.
"Our desire is to stay at the cutting edge of nutraceutical science," he said.
"The breakthroughs are going to come from real science."
In a competitive industry, but one in which very similar products are available from many different sources, substantial rewards can be reaped by the company with an exclusive offering.
Greenberg believes that the agreement with UTEK will enable VitaCube to do just that, since it works with 250 universities worldwide and has access to a constant supply of technologies to offer its partners.
And it may not be long before it can start harvesting the fruits of the agreement: UTEK has already identified two or three potential, which it will be presenting to the Colorado-based company soon.
The beauty of UTEK's business structure is that the agreement does not require VitaCube to use its cash currency, which would have been prohibitive for such a small company. Instead, the technology transfer company received $100,000 of VitaCube's stock each year, which is deposited into escrow and released on a monthly basis.
When an asset transfer is arranged, VitaCube will enter into a separate royalty agreement with the university. For its part, UTEK will benefit when the technology has been commercialized and is pushing up the company's stock price.
Greenberg said that the acquisition of proprietary technologies has always been in VitaCube's business plan, stated for a time when it had become a well-established, public company.
It counts more than 350 world class athletes amongst the users and endorsers of its products and completed secondary $9.23 million funding which placed it on the stock exchange last month.
For the year ended December 31 2004, the company reported net sales of $803,640 and an operating loss of $2,51 million.