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Swiss player ready for reduced cost resveratrol launch

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By Shane Starling+

03-Sep-2014
Last updated on 03-Sep-2014 at 23:53 GMT

“Work on further reducing production costs will continue post-launch...
“Work on further reducing production costs will continue post-launch..."

10-year-old Swiss biotech firm Evolva has completed the resveratrol manufacturing cost-reduction programme it embarked on for the antioxidant nearly two years ago when it bought defunct Fluxome’s business for €550,000.

It will hard-launch the fermented, 98%, trans-resveratrol version at the Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas next month. It was the ingredients premium price that drove Fluxome out of the game back in November 2012 and brought Evolva in .

A contract manufacturer in North America is producing commercial batches of the final product and first deliveries have been received,” Evolva said in a statement accompanying its first half financial results.

“Work on further reducing production costs will continue post-launch. Discussions with a global network of distributors are ongoing to accelerate sales post-launch.”

Partnership movement

The biotech firm had limited revenues of less than €5m but in the H1 statement said it was well-placed with €50m+ in cash after a recent capital injection and many projects and partnerships on the go.

One is for vanillin in partnership with IFF which had reached market with revenues expected in 2015 and it had inked a deal with cosmetics behemoth L’Oréal.

A stevia (Rebaudioside M) project with Cargill was also delivering initial revenue, with Cargill making an initial €760,000 payment after Evolva demonstrated it had overcome a technical hurdle.

Of that chief financial officer Jakob Dynnes Hansen, said: “This puts us in a strong position to bring our product portfolio forward, including potentially exercising our option to have a 45% position alongside Cargill on stevia.

Other projects include saffron extracts about which, Initial discussions took place with several potential customers”.

It had also joined the Scientific Centre of Excellence at the Flavor and Fragrance Cluster at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang, working principally on extracting fragrances from agarwood via fermentation techniques.

Evolva’s pharma activities include a €5m project with the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for pre-clinical development of compounds for the treatment of Melioidosis.

It is also working with Ajinomoto, Roquette and BASF (alkaloid biosynthesis in yeast) on different ingredient projects.

The global resveratrol supply market is valued at $50.2m (€40m) according to a recent Frost and Sullivan report, with 90% of volumes accounted for by the US food supplements market. Evolva said Asian markets would be a point of focus.

Resveratrol has been linked to a number of health benefits including cardiovascular effects, brain boosting potential, anti-cancer properties, and even the ability to prolong life.

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