VANCOUVER, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX-V: BU) announces today that it has been granted a United States patent over a process for the production of flax protein isolates. The U.S. Patent - entitled "Process for Preparation of Flax Protein Isolate" (US Patent No. 7,309,773) covers an improved process for the production of flax protein isolates and includes an initial step of removing mucilage from flax seed prior to flax oil and protein removal. The innovations protected by this patent result in a higher protein yield and an improved product.
Burcon now holds a total of 8 U.S. patents which cover canola and flax protein processing technologies and canola protein isolate applications and has a further 34 patent applications currently filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Burcon has filed applications for most of its inventions internationally under the Patent Cooperation Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Together with patents issued in other countries, Burcon now holds a total of 44 issued patents covering inventions that include the 8 granted U.S. patents. Countries in which Burcon holds issued patents or has filed patent applications include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, the European patent office, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, South Korea and the United States. Currently, Burcon has approximately 200 additional patent applications that are being reviewed by the respective patent offices in various countries worldwide. Although Burcon expends significant resources and efforts to patent its discoveries and innovations, there can be no assurances that any of Burcon's patent applications will result in the issuance of patents, or any patents issued to Burcon will provide it with adequate protection or any competitive advantages, or that such patents will not be successfully challenged by any third parties.
Mr. Johann Tergesen, Burcon's President and C.O.O. noted "Burcon's strategy is to ensure that our innovative protein extraction technology, applications of our proteins and the signature characteristics of Burcon's proteins are protected on a worldwide basis. The U.S. patent office's grant of our latest patent further strengthens our intellectual property portfolio."
Burcon, in conjunction with Archer Daniels Midland ("ADM"), continues to focus its development efforts on commercializing its lead canola protein isolate products, Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM). Current development efforts include the large-scale production of Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) to facilitate continued work with ADM's customers through the previously announced material transfer agreements. Burcon's other main initiative is the continuous pursuit of additional intellectual property opportunities. Burcon continues to engage in research activities at its Winnipeg Technical Center directed at optimizing its technologies with the goal of providing additional patenting opportunities in the areas of processing, applications and compound patents.
In June 2007, Burcon announced its intention, in conjunction with its license partner, to pursue regulatory recognition for Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) which process would include certain scientific studies, including toxicology assessments -- such as feeding trials -- to be undertaken by third party contract research organizations. Those feeding trials, along with the required scientific studies, were initiated during the second quarter.
The scientific studies are expected to be completed within the next quarter and are being prepared to a standard to support the United States GRAS affirmation process as well as to enable their use in making application for regulatory approval under the Novel Foods process in the European community and in other countries such as Canada.
For more information about Burcon view our new website at www.burcon.ca
About Burcon NutraScience
Burcon is a research and development company developing a portfolio of composition, application, and process patents around its plant protein extraction and purification technology. The goal of Burcon's research is to develop its patented process to utilize inexpensive oilseed meals for the production of purified plant proteins that exhibit valuable nutritional, functional or nutraceutical profiles. Burcon, in conjunction with Archer Daniels Midland, is currently focusing its efforts on developing the world's first commercial canola proteins, Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM). Canola, recognized for its nutritional qualities, is the second-largest oilseed crop in the world after soybeans. Burcon's goal is to develop Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) to participate with soy, dairy, and egg proteins in the expanding multi-billion-dollar protein ingredient market, with potential uses in prepared foods, nutritional supplements, and personal care products.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy of the content of the information contained herein. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, plans and timing for the introduction or enhancement of our products, statements about future market conditions, supply and demand conditions, and other expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. Our expectations regarding the prospect for future success depend upon our ability to develop and sell products, which we do not produce today and cannot be sold without further research and development. When used in this press release, the words "goal", "intend", "believes" and "potential" and similar expressions, generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. In light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding the development of a source of protein from canola meal, you should understand that we cannot assure you that the forward looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.