COLUMBIA, Md., Apr 12, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Advanced BioNutrition Corp. (ABN) announced today that it is the worldwide exclusive licensee of a patent issued to the University of Hull (GB) and the Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group (AFSG) of Wageningen University and Research Centre (previously known as ATO) (NL) on December 20, 2005. The U.S. patent (#6,977,166), entitled "Method of Producing an Oil Including Docosahexaenoic Acid," describes a novel method for producing an oil containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by fermentation of the microalgae Crypthecodinium cohnii. This method involves the use of efficient semi-continuous and continuous production methods and a low cost fermentation substrate to produce algae containing high levels of a DHA-rich oil. The patent has also issued in the UK.
"We have been working on the continuous production of the microalga C. cohnii for a number of years, and this patent describes a process for the production of DHA using a continuous production process with an inexpensive feedstock," said Colin Ratledge of the University of Hull and primary inventor on the patent.
"Consistent with AFSG's multidisciplinary focus on developing new technologies for agro-raw materials, this patent describes a new method of producing DHA which is important in a number of human and animal nutrition applications," said Lolke Sijtsma of AFSG.
"ABN is focused on the fundamental requirement of DHA in nutrition, and since this new technology represents a novel way of producing this important molecule, we are excited to be the worldwide exclusive licensee," said David J. Kyle, CEO of ABN.
DHA is a critical building block of neurological tissues and has been commercialized as a key additive to infant formulas. Recent scientific publications have also identified the importance of DHA in neurological development of companion animals, fertility in thoroughbred racehorses, improvement of growth and fertility in swine, and growth of many aquacultured species, including shrimp and salmon. These animal applications are the primary commercial focus of ABN.
Advanced BioNutrition is a leader in developing functional ingredients, including DHA, to improve the health, nutrition and performance of animals, and new probiotic technologies to improve animal and human health and wellness. The company is located in Columbia, MD. www.advancedbionutrition.com.
About the University of Hull and Professor Ratledge:
The University of Hull is an academic institution located in Hull, Great Britain, and is actively involved in a wide range of partnerships with organizations and businesses from the public and private sectors. Colin Ratledge is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences whose research interests involve lipid biosynthesis and the biotechnological production of polyunsaturated oils. www.hull.ac.uk/biosci.
About Wageningen UR, Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group (AFSG):
AFSG (previously known as ATO) is an organization for fundamental and applied-scientific research for agriculture and horticulture, trade and export, and for industries manufacturing food and non-food products on the basis of vegetable and animal raw materials. One of the main topics of research is the biobased economy in which renewable resources and their conversion to value added products play a vital role. Dr. Lolke Sijtsma is senior scientist with AFSG, and his research interests involve production of polyunsaturated oils and marine biotechnology. www.afsg.wur.nl.