Martek Biosciences says it has signed a worldwide license agreement with Nestec, the Nestle affiliate, for Martek's technology relating to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) in infant formulas.
The agreement will see Martek receive an initial cash payment, consisting of a license fee, inventory prepayment and ongoing royalties based on Nestle's sales of infant formula containing Martek's oils.
Martek makes oils containing the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, DHA and ARA, found in breast-milk, from microalgae. Some clinical studies have demonstrated benefits for infants receiving DHA- and ARA-supplemented formula. Martek's blend of DHA and ARA is the only source of these nutrients cleared for use in US infant formula by the Food and Drug Administration. The blend is currently being sold by a number of other licensees in supplemented formulas around the world.
Henry Linsert, chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, commented: "With the inclusion of Nestle, Martek has all of the major international infant formula companies under license, providing infants everywhere better access to DHA and ARA supplemented formula."
Last week Martek received novel foods approval from the European Commission for use of its oils in certain foods and medical nutrition products in the European community.