COLUMBIA, Md. and INDIANAPOLIS, May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dow AgroSciences LLC and Martek Biosciences Corporation today announced a collaborative agreement to jointly develop and commercialize a canola seed that produces the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Under the terms of the agreement, Martek and Dow AgroSciences will co-develop the canola seed, which will produce a DHA-rich canola oil that will be part of Dow AgroSciences' "next generation" of food industry oils. The intent of the collaboration is to develop a DHA-rich canola oil which would strengthen Martek's position as a leading producer and marketer of DHA-enriched oils and powders and complement Dow AgroSciences' current Omega-9 Oils platform which is being widely adopted by the food industry to remove trans fat and reduce saturated fat in food products. Dow AgroSciences and Martek anticipate a multi-year effort to produce this new healthy oil, which when commercialized will be marketed to the food industry.
DHA omega-3 is a long-chain fatty acid that serves as the primary structural fatty acid found in the brain and the eyes, and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages, from infants to aging adults, benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in the diet. Scientific reviews highlight the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, and clinical studies are underway to evaluate the role of DHA in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.
Today DHA is primarily sourced from algal fermentation and fish oil. Production of DHA in canola will allow for a more cost-effective vegetarian supply for use in certain food applications.
"Nutritionists are now recommending that people increase their consumption of DHA, as most consumers don't get enough in their diets today," said Daniel R. Kittle, Ph.D., global R&D leader and vice president, Dow AgroSciences. "Martek, with its strong portfolio in omega-3 fatty acids, will be a great addition to the continued development of our rapidly growing canola and sunflower Healthy Oils platform."
"As the leading innovator in DHA science and technology, Martek is pleased to partner with agricultural leader Dow AgroSciences, to combine our unique technologies and intellectual property for the creation of an oilseed source of DHA, a nutrient that is important to human health throughout the lifecycle," said Steve Dubin, Martek CEO. "Dow AgroSciences' expertise and commitment to healthy nutritional solutions complements Martek's own values and strengths, making this an ideal collaboration."
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences LLC (NYSE: DOW - News), based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tier agricultural company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. Dow AgroSciences provides innovative technologies for crop protection, pest and vegetation management, seeds, traits, and agricultural biotechnology to serve the world's growing population. Global sales for Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, are $3.8 billion. Learn more at http://www.dowagro.com. To learn about Omega-9 Oils go to http://www.dowagro.com/omega9oils/.
About Martek Biosciences Corporation
Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK - News) is a leader in the innovation and development of DHA omega-3 products that promote health and wellness through every stage of life. The company produces life'sDHA(TM), a sustainable and vegetarian source of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements. The company also markets life'sARA(TM) (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, from a sustainable, vegetarian source, for use in infant formula. For more information on Martek Biosciences Corporation, visit http://www.martek.com/. For a complete listing of life'sDHA products, visit http://www.lifesdha.com/.
Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2007 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.