PharmaVite hols exclusive rights for the use of Reducol in mass market channels, but these rights depending on the purchase of a certain, undisclosed amount of product. It uses Reducol in its Nature made CholestOff Product.
The signs are, though, that PharmaVite will have no difficulty in meeting these targets:
"CholestOff sales have grown over the past few years as we continue to develop and support our cholesterol-lowering dietary supplement business," said PharmaVite VP marketing Jim Lundeen.
Indeed the company plans to support the ongoing relationship with the initiation of a "substantial" marketing campaign for its dietary supplement line-up, including CholestOff.
From Forbes MediTech's viewpoint, the relationship is important to its overall strategy. Laura Wessman, senior VP operations, said: "Pharmavite remains a key partner in the ongoing commercialisation strategy for our ingredient, reducol, and our commitment to targeting cardiovascular disease through diet."
This is the second time Forbes Medi-Tech and Pharmavite has extended the arrangement. The last three-year extension came in March 2003, just after the FDA granted approval for a heart health claim to be used Forbes phytosterol products, including Reducol.
In the UK, leading supermarket Tesco rolled out a range of cholesterol products containing Reducol at the end of 2005.
Forbes Medi-Tech itself secured the rights to Reducol through a 2001 agreement with Novartis Consumer Health.
Last month Forbes Medi-Tech announced the extension of a major sterol supply agreement for a minimum of US$4.8 million between its joint venture, Phyto-Source LP, and a large multinational company. The contract was originally signed in September 2002 and renewed in June 2004. With the latest extension it is now extension is effective until the end of 2006.
The Canadian company reported revenues of C$17.6 million (US$15.2 million) from phytosterols in 2004.
Health care professionals are increasingly encouraging patients to reduce their levels of LDL ('bad') cholesterol through dietary approaches, in preference to pharmaceutical drugs like statins, which come with potentially serious side effects.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Preliminary mortality data for 2003 show that CVD was the underlying cause of death accounted for 37.3percent of all deaths, or one of every 2.7, in the United States.
According to the American Heart Association high LDL cholesterol of 130mg/dL, a major risk factor for heart disease, affects 39.5 percent of the population.