COLUMBIA, Md., Nov 15, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Martek Biosciences Corporation announced today that its vegetarian form of DHA omega-3, life'sDHA(TM), is available in a new prescription prenatal supplement from Azur Pharma. Natelle Plus is a patented vitamin co-pack that provides women with essential vitamins and minerals plus 200 mg of Martek's life'sDHA. Experts recommend that pregnant and nursing women include at least 200 mg of DHA per day for infant development and maternal well being(1). Natelle Plus will be directly marketed to physicians by Azur's women's health sales force.
"The research supporting the health benefits of DHA omega-3 for pregnant and nursing women and their infants continues to grow - and so does the controversy and confusion surrounding safe consumption of fish, the main dietary source of DHA, during pregnancy," said David Abramson, Martek president. "Martek's life'sDHA provides all the benefits of DHA omega-3 in a safe, vegetarian form and we are pleased to be working with Azur to bring the unique benefits of life'sDHA to women through Natelle Plus DHA."
This is the first product to be launched by Azur Pharma under a six-year license and supply agreement with Martek. Under the terms of the agreement, Azur Pharma has agreed to purchase all of its DHA omega-3 needs from Martek for prescription pregnancy and breastfeeding products in the United States and other designated territories. There are no minimum purchase requirements or other financial commitments to Martek.
A critical nutrient
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. DHA is important during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester when significant brain growth occurs. Certain studies have shown that maternal DHA supplementation improves infant developmental outcomes, such as eye-hand coordination, motor skills and attention span. DHA has also been shown to play a part in maternal health, including helping mothers carry to a healthy term and possibly playing a role in supporting maternal well-being after birth. Women of childbearing age who consume a typical Western diet are at risk for low stores of DHA because the primary dietary source of DHA is fatty fish which is not a staple of the Western diet. Additionally, expert bodies such as the FDA have advised pregnant and nursing women to limit their consumption of fish due to the potentially high levels of toxins such as mercury.
Free of oceanic pollutants
Fish are often thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a safe, vegetarian form of DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants and toxins. Fish are rich sources of DHA because of the DHA- containing microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived from microalgae and produced in an FDA-inspected facility from start to finish using a sustainable source that does not deplete ocean resources. life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverage and supplements for people of all ages. It
is also the only source of DHA used in U.S. infant formula and is available in more than 90 percent of the formulas on the market.
To obtain more information on Natelle Plus DHA, visit www.azurpharma.com.
To obtain a complete list of products containing life'sDHA, visit www.lifesdha.com or call 1-888-OK-BRAIN.
About Azur Pharma
Azur is a privately held pharmaceutical company dedicated to enhancing patients' lives by developing and marketing pharmaceutical products in specialist therapeutic areas. Azur's strategy is to identify, evaluate, selectively acquire and enhance the value of late stage development and approved pharmaceutical products. For more information on Azur Pharma, visit www.azurpharma.com.
Martek Biosciences Corporation Martek Biosciences Corporation (MATK) 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 produces 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 www.martek.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, 2006 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
1. Perilip and EARNEST Consensus Statement, British Journal of Nutrition,