VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec 20, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (CA:FMI)(FMTI) today announced Forbes' cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol(TM), has been launched in the UK. The initial products carrying Reducol(TM) will be sold through the UK's largest retailer, Tesco Stores Ltd. (Tesco), under their own private label. In combination with Tesco, Forbes Medi-Tech will announce further details about this new line of cholesterol-lowering products early in the new year as they become available on store shelves.
At a joint press conference held in London today, several speakers discussed the importance of good cholesterol health and the launch of the New Heart Healthy range of products with Reducol(TM). Speakers included: Gwyneth Dunwoody, British Member of Parliament; Dr. Peter Jones, Department of Food Science & Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba; Dr Saul Myerson, Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine, Oxford University; and Jane Griffin, State Registered Dietitian and published author.
The press conference audio is available through a webcast posted on the Forbes Medi-Tech website - www.forbesmedi.com.
"Although Coronaries are the most frequent cause of death, very few people have any knowledge of what constitutes a health risk. Over 65% of those aged 45-54 do not know their cholesterol level," said Gwyneth Dunwoody. "I am delighted to see that a collaboration between Forbes Medi-Tech and Tesco, to produce cholesterol-lowering functional food products is a genuine attempt to help consumers lower their cholesterol safely. The Government's initiatives to assist adult health are encouraging sensible diet and this is a positive development."
"Tesco has committed to an innovative strategy to provide our customers with a heart healthy line of products from the Tesco private label brand," said Sheila Gallagher, Tesco representative. "Tesco's established presence as a trusted brand in the UK and Reducol(TM)'s proven ability to lower cholesterol provide the basis for a comprehensive range of products with heart healthy benefits and excellent taste."
"The Reducol(TM) launch in the UK is the culmination of growing demand for heart healthy products and strong strategic partnerships producing a cholesterol-lowering product mix that the public will soon be able to enjoy," said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech. "Unlike other brands, Tesco will be able to launch a wide range of cholesterol-lowering food products under a single brand name."
This business initiative with Tesco is the result of Forbes' partnership with Fayrefield Foods of Crewe UK, established in December 2004.
Reducol(TM) is a unique ingredient containing plant sterols and stanols, commonly known as phytosterols, or "Sterols". The combination of a prudent diet and consumption of products containing the recommended amount of Reducol(TM) may help consumers lower their cholesterol by up to 24%. Additional information on Reducol(TM) can be found at www.reducol.com
About Tesco Stores Ltd.
Tesco is the UK's largest retailer. Tesco has reached this position through its four-part strategy for growth:
1. Tesco focuses on a strong core UK business by offering customers excellent value, choice and convenience
2. Tesco aims to be as strong in non-food as it is in food
3. Tesco follows the customer into new areas of retailing services such as financial services (Tesco Personal Finance), internet shopping (Tesco.com) and telephony (Tesco telecom).
4. Tesco wants to be an international retailer with a long term strategy for growth.
The Tesco Group reported GBP$37.1 billion in sales for FY2005. It has 2,318 stores and employs 326,000 people in the 12 countries in which it operates. In Europe, outside the UK, it operates in Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey where it has 261 stores and 55,000 employees. In Asia it has 179 stores and 34,000 employees across its businesses in Thailand, S. Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan. It is the market leader in 6 of the countries it trades in. Wherever it operates it has one core purpose "Creating value for customers to earn their lifetime loyalty" and two values "No-one tries harder for customers"; "Treat people how we like to be treated" that directs how it operates.
About Fayrefield Foods
Fayrefield Foods specializes in the production and marketing of dairy products and powders throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America. Since it began in 1982 the company has established a reputation for innovation and quality, and now achieves sales in excess of 200 million pounds (approximately US$370 million) per year. Additional information on Fayrefield can be found at www.fayrefield.com.
About Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.
Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. is a life sciences company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative products for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Our vision is to develop and market products along a treatment continuum that cardiovascular disease consumers, healthcare professionals and specialized cardiovascular disease research and healthcare institutions will identify, recommend and seek. Our business strategy is to develop and commercialize proprietary compounds to address the unmet needs of patients within the cardiovascular disease market.
Forbes Medi-Tech has relied solely on Tesco and Fayrefield for the information about each of them provided in this News Release and the Company disclaims any liability with respect to such information. Forbes does not review or control the contents of any linked or referenced website, such links and references do not constitute an endorsement by Forbes of any other websites and Forbes is not responsible for the information contained on such websites. This News Release contains forward-looking statements regarding products containing Reducol(TM), the incorporation of Reducol(TM) in future products and the future launch of such products, which statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will be", "will announce", "to produce", "to help", "strategy", "to provide", "soon", "vision", "to develop", or comparable terminology referring to future events or results. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors, including the risk of early termination of the agreements with Fayrefield or Tesco; the Company's reliance on both Fayrefield and Tesco for performance; uncertainty regarding the market for products containing Reducol(TM) and the risk that such products may not achieve market acceptance; product development risks; uncertainty whether further products containing Reducol(TM) will be launched in the new year or at all; intellectual property risks; manufacturing risks and the Company's dependency on its joint venture manufacturing partner, Chusei (U.S.A.) Inc.; raw material supply risk; product liability and insurance risks; the effect of competition; the need for regulatory approvals, which may be withdrawn or not be obtained in a timely manner or at all; changes in business strategy or development plans; exchange rate fluctuations; and the Company's need for future funding; any of which could cause actual results to vary materially from current results or the Company's anticipated future results. See the Company's reports filed with the Canadian and U.S. securities regulatory authorities from time to time for cautionary statements identifying important factors with respect to such forward-looking statements, including certain risks and uncertainties, that could cause actual results to differ materially from results referred to in forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this News Release.
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