Viscofiber, Cevena's lead product, is derived from fibrous cell walls of either oats (50 percent concentrate) or barley (60 percent concentrate) using a patented fermentation technology for which it has been granted an exclusive worldwide license by the University of Alberta.
The company claims it is the richest beta-glucan material available, 20 to 30 times more viscous than the next leading concentrates, since the structure of the natural grain is not altered during the fermentation process. Viscosity is understood to be the main property responsible for soluble fiber's ability to lower blood lipids.
Two independent clinical trials into the efficacy of Viscofiber in addressing healthy cholesterol levels and maintaining healthy glycemic response, carried out at the University of Toronto, have yielded positive results but have not yet been published.
Further research is also planned to investigate its efficacy for gastrointestinal health and satiety.
Viscofiber was launched in March and in May the company announced the opening of a sales office in Chicago, to sell the product to food and dietary supplement makers in the United States.
The latest financing was led by the Business Development Bank of Canada's Venture Capital Group, which was joined by the Golden Opportunities Fund and existing investors Technologies Limited Partnership and AVAC, Ltd.
Company president and CEO Kimmo Lucas said the investors "were chosen based upon their expertise in the agri-food/supplement area as well as the synergies they bring to Cevena Bioproducts and our flagship technology employed to produce… Viscofiber."
Last month VP of sales & new business development Richard Staack told NutraIngredients-USA.com that some large deals with food and supplements manufacturers are currently under negotiation and may come to fruition within the next month or two.
As for the medium long-term, Staack said: "We are hopefully going to be the leading soluble fiber on the market within 12 to 24 months."