Natural completes return to pure R&D firm

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Biotechnology Cla

Norwegian lipid research firm Natural says it has completed its
transformation to a biotechnology company after exiting all of its
supplement sales activities.

It is now working on new lipid-based technologies that will be ready for licensing to food companies next year.

Natural had set up a sales and marketing arm to demonstrate the commercial potential of CLA, or the fatty acid conjugated lineolic acid, for which it has developed an extensive patent portfolio that covers the main areas of application, product characteristics and production technology.

But after licensing the rights to many of these patents on the weight loss ingredient to Germany's Cognis in August 2002, Natural​ handed over its inventory of CLA and most of its customers the following year.

In the last year it has also ended sales of the vitamin K2 product, Natto K2, to which it had sales and marketing rights in agreement with the Japanese developer.

The company now generates all of its revenue from royalties from its intellectual property, including about three quarters from its CLA technology.

As a result of this shift back to research and development, first half results show a significant drop in raw material costs, staff, and also a 15 per cent decline in revenue.

However chief executive Jostein Dalland says the firm has now reached its long-term aim of being a biotech company.

Improved efficiency in the first half - operating profits increased to NOK4.3 million (€0.54m) during the first six months from a loss of NOK1.2 million in last year's first half - will allow it to better focus on developing new lipid-based technologies for food.

"We will introduce new technology for high-grade DHA and EPA next year, and we also have very interesting applications for marine phospholipids,"​ he told

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