Martek Biosciences Corporation announced today that it has extended its multi-year sole-source license and supply agreement with Danone, a leading worldwide producer of infant nutrition products.
Under the terms of the amended agreement, Martek will be Danone's exclusive supplier of ARA for all of its infant formula and growing-up milk products through at least December 31, 2014, which is an extension of Martek's current exclusive ARA supply position with Danone by three years. As with the current agreement, Danone may continue to use non-microbial DHA sources. In most cases, Martek will continue to serve as Danone's global supplier for its microbially-derived DHA needs for infant formula. This is an amendment to the 2007 agreement between Martek and Numico and contains certain limited termination rights. Martek has supplied DHA and ARA to Numico, which was acquired by Danone in 2008, for infant formula products since 1994.
"This new agreement with Danone is an important milestone as we seek to extend our sole-source supply agreements with key customers beyond 2011," said Steve Dubin, Martek CEO. "This agreement illustrates that Martek's trusted high quality nutritional products, patent position, production capacity, strong research and science base, and long history of experience in DHA and ARA manufacturing and technology will continue to provide us a meaningful competitive advantage in the marketplace."
With presence in all five continents and over 120 countries, Danone is a Fortune 500 company that holds a leading global position in infant nutrition. The Danone Baby Nutrition division specializes in food for the healthy growth and development of infants and toddlers (0-3 years old) through an extensive range of safe, nutritionally superior and convenient products.
Naturally present in human breast milk, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ARA (arachidonic acid) are fatty acids important to infant development and growth. Clinical studies have demonstrated numerous benefits for infants receiving DHA and ARA supplemented formula, including improved mental and visual development.
Martek's blend of DHA and ARA, life'sDHA & life'sARA, is the only source of these nutrients currently used in U.S. infant formula, and is present in more than 95 percent of infant formula sold in the U.S. Infant formulas containing Martek's nutritional oils are available in more than 75 countries and have been consumed by over 53 million infants worldwide.
Martek Biosciences Corporation is a leader in the innovation and development of DHA and ARA and has developed patented technology for the production and use of these ingredients. DHA omega-3 products promote health and wellness through every stage of life and ARA omega-6 products support growth and development in infants and children. The company produces life'sDHA(TM), a sustainable vegetarian source of DHA omega-3, for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, perinatal products, and supplements, and life'sARA(TM), a sustainable vegetarian source of ARA omega-6, for use in infant formula and growing up milks. For more information on Martek Biosciences, visit http://www.martek.com/. For more information on products containing lifesDHA and life'sARA, visit www.lifesdha.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, 2009 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.