Pronova Announce Plans To Expand Into Consumer Healthcare

Norway’s Pronova Biopharma, best-known for their fish oil heart drug, Lovaza, from their partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, is to expand into the dietary supplement area of the consumer healthcare market.

The Lysaker-based group, who research, develop and manufacture lipid therapies derived from nature, said that the move will build on their position as “the world’s largest manufacturer of highest grade omega-3 derived products”.  Pronova is initially “targeting the high concentrate dietary supplement market, which is expected to double in size over the next five years”.

The expansion business will offer “substantial synergies” with Pronova’s existing pharmaceutical operations, which produce the blockbuster Lovaza/Omacor.  Its pipeline is headed by PRC-4016 which is presently in trials for the treatment of combined dyslipidaemia.

Pronova Biopharma noted that they have invested $500 million in recent years creating omega-3 manufacturing facilities in Norway and Denmark, and commented that the preliminary investment necessary to establish a consumer healthcare business is relatively small.  Pronova added that around $10 million over the next year will be used to adjust the manufacturing process to the new unit.

Morten Jurs, CEO of Pronova BioPharma, commented “this new division will be highly complementary to Pronova BioPharma’s existing pharmaceutical business, in which we have invested heavily in recent years to create the best manufacturing facilities and processes in the world and to develop a pipeline of promising new drugs.  Having established a dominant position in the omega-3 pharmaceutical market, we are well positioned to leverage our existing infrastructure, knowledge, research, regulatory and partnership capabilities in order to drive a highly successful consumer business targeting a different segment of the population.”

Pronova plan to enter the consumer healthcare market in the second half of 2012.  The company will spend the next 12 months building the Consumer Healthcare organisation, modifying the manufacturing processes for consumer products, commencing small clinical trials and developing distribution channels.

Meanwhile, Pronova has posted financials for the third quarter which shows revenues up 10.1% to 392.5 million Norwegian kroner (roughly $69.7 million). Net income doubled to 43.2 million kroner.


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