Banner Introduces ECOCAPS Non-Animal Softgels at VitaFoods 2004

High Point, NC (March 11, 2004) – Banner Pharmacaps, Inc., a global innovator of drug delivery technologies and proprietary health care products, unveils its leading gelatin alternative called EcoCaps™, a non-animal softgel made from plant derivatives that is completely free of gelatin ingredients, with all the advantages of a standard softgel. Banner will be highlighting the technology at stand #930 at Vitafoods 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland 11-13 May.

EcoCaps are formulated by using a newly developed, patent-pending process that manufactures plant carbohydrates into encapsulating films. This unique encapsulation process provides opportunities for product extensions for existing brands, and is versatile enough to deliver a variety of new product offerings for Banner and its partners looking for innovative, non-animal solutions. Banner’s non-animal technology also appeals to a wide range of consumers who are seeking non-animal alternatives for health, dietary, religious, or animal-rights reasons.

EcoCaps™ non-animal softgels are as reliable as our widely-used gelatin formulation, and something that companies can utilize with the utmost confidence,” says Roger Gordon, PhD, president and CEO of Banner. “The non-animal technology fills an expanding demand in the marketplace, which is being driven by an increasing number of corporate initiatives to use materials of non-animal origin.”

“Our patent-pending encapsulation material for Ecocaps™ was developed by a talented team of scientists and engineers here at Banner,” adds Aqeel Fatmi, PhD, global vice president of R&D at Banner. “We worked through an intensive process of identifying, selecting and developing an alternative film-former, one that performs as closely as possible to gelatin.”

The addition of a non-animal film former alternative to Banner’s highly successful and reliable animal-based gelatin encapsulation material provides manufacturers with great flexibility in meeting the evolving demands of the marketplace.

EcoCaps will prove beneficial for consumers who have chosen to make non-animal products part of their personal health care regimen,” says Bev Emerson, director of global communications and consumer health care marketing. “Consumers finally have a choice between gelatin and non-gelatin products, and Banner is happy to be the company working with cutting-edge partners to bring those non-animal choices to market.”

Banner is a global company that researches, develops, and manufactures drug delivery technologies and proprietary health care products. With state-of-the-art, FDA-approved manufacturing facilities and significant investment in research and development, Banner provides innovative oral delivery solutions and unique products to the health care industry worldwide. A wholly owned subsidiary of Sobel N.V., Banner has operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

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