Cognis was unavailable for comment but a joint statement noted it had taken an undisclosed share in fellow German company, InterMed Discovery GmbH, with which it had entered into a cooperation agreement that will grant Cognis "exclusive access to selected potential active ingredients". "This cooperation with InterMed Discovery allows Cognis to strengthen its portfolio of natural source products and compounds and to create the basis for further success in the innovation-driven growth markets of wellness and sustainability," the statement read. Erik Metz, InterMed's head of business development told NutraIngredients.com the database consisted of single compounds, extracts and blends, of which 40 per cent were novel. "We have these three sub-databases of natural products and many of them are suitable for food applications," he said. "We have also been developing compounds for three major areas: obesity, cardiovascular health and brain food and looking at food applications like sports drinks and bars as well as food supplements." He said Cognis was an ideal partner because of its research and development and product formulation expertise as well as its international distribution network that would "get InterMed ingredients into finished products worldwide." "The cooperation will begin with Cognis developing a couple of advance projects we have been working on but they have also committed to the long-term development pipeline of our database and potential applications that stem from it." InterMed, created in a management buy-out from BayerHealthCare in 2006, has an international presence in the pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and nutraceuticals industries. "But cosmetics and cosmeceuticals is our biggest area of growth," Metz said of the compounds database derived from a host of plants as well as edible materials such fruits and vegetables and mushrooms. "The combination of InterMed Discovery's natural product data and active ingredients with Cognis' know-how and market expertise in nutrition and cosmetics creates a unique platform for the development of new, innovative products and thus strengthens our market position sustainably," said Norbert Weitkemper, Cognis Nutrition and Health director of strategic business development. "This cooperation with Cognis is an important milestone in positioning us as a leading company in the discovery and development of active compounds based on natural products," InterMed managers Bernard Becker and Dr. Thomas Henkel, noted of the deal.