The deal is undisclosed but Neptune emphasized the size of Bayer’s operations and the fact it is one of the world’s “largest marketers of healthcare products”.
Krill, which is high in both antioxidants and omega-3, has been linked to heart health, brain health and inflammatory benefits.
The company already has research and development deals with Nestle and Yoplait in the functional foods area, Croda in the supplements area, and now Bayer will provide the krill supplier with a road into the pharma sector.
Canada-based Neptune could not be contacted before publication but chief scientific officer, Dr Tina Sampalis, said in a statement that Bayer would support Neptune’s efforts in the area of clinical development.
"As planned, it has been strategic to invest the time and resources into building a complete portfolio of scientific data, intellectual property and regulatory approvals which ultimately allowed the company to attract the best partner," Dr Sampalis said.
She said Bayer was in its estimation, “the right marketer that can create broad consumer awareness leveraged by our substantial scientific data and that can create large market share for Neptune”.
In the food area, Neptune recently won hard-to-come-by European Union Novel Foods approval for its NKO food-grade ingredient that is low in triglycerides and high in phospholipids (38-50g/100g) as well as being particularly high in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid – 15-19g/100g) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid – 7-16g/100g).
Partnerships would continue to form a large part of Neptune’s expansion plans.
"The parallel stepwise approach of exploring other future products and project opportunities directed towards pharmaceutical driven applications is part of the plan," said Neptune chief executive officer and president, Henri Harland.
He added: "Under Neptune's strategic vision, which has been pursued since the beginning of its operations, the Company has anticipated to penetrate world nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets in collaboration with global international partners.”