~Demand for Sterols Supports Phyto-Source Expansion~
Vancouver, BC -- Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (TSX: FMI; NASDAQ: FMTI) announced today that it has initiated the expansion of its joint venture's manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas. The Phyto-Source, LP plant's capacity is being increased by 50% to 1,500 metric tonnes based on the demand for phytosterol-based products including Reducol(tm) and Phyto-S Sterols. It is expected that the plant expansion cost will be self-funded from revenue generated by the Phyto-source joint venture with a portion of new equipment cost to be financed by the Southwest Bank of Texas and guaranteed by the joint venture partners, Forbes USA (subsidiary of Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.) and Chusei (USA) Inc. The increased plant capacity is scheduled to be available mid 2004.
"Based on the emerging trends in our business, we feel that an expansion of our plant is warranted," said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. "We believe that interest in cholesterol lowering ingredients will continue to rise and that this expansion will allow us to develop the infrastructure to support this expected growth," said Butt.
Additionally, the plant expansion would provide Forbes with the flexibility to address an increase in product demand should Reducol(tm) be approved under the European Union Novel Foods regulations.
About Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.
Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative prescription pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and related diseases. Forbes' scientific platform is based on core sterol technology. By extracting plant sterols from by-products of the forestry industry and other natural sources, Forbes has developed cholesterol-lowering agents for use in pharmaceutical compounds, functional foods and dietary supplements.