Specialty chemicals supplier Cognis and InterMed Discovery (IMD), a world class natural product lead-discovery company, are continuing their strategic cooperation: Cognis has now exclusively licensed two new active ingredients for weight management and cognitive performance from IMD, further expanding the company’s innovation pipeline. Tests on the products Cognis has already acquired from IMD are already delivering promising results.
The sales potential is increasing for active ingredients in functional foods to support weight management and benefit heart and brain health, largely because obesity is becoming a major public health problem in many parts of the world and society as a whole is getting older. During their ongoing collaboration, Cognis and IMD have utilized IMD’s database of biologically active natural substances and its unique IMD Bioprofiling® technology platform to discover innovative functional ingredients for specific food applications, and to bring suitable active substances to market-readiness.
In combination with Cognis’ experience and expertise in nutrition, this has led to the discovery of additional product candidates that help with weight management and cognitive performance. Cognis’ own research has given it insights into important aspects of brain health such as learning ability, cognitive performance (and ways of maintaining this with age), alertness, and concentration. One of the candidates is a new ingredient that is showing promising benefits for weight management in different test systems. The second new ingredient is a promising product for improving brain health, as in vivo tests have shown potential on cognitive performance. Cognis plans to carry out further in vivo tests and research studies for these ingredients later this year.
Cognis has already licensed four other ingredients from IMD targeting weight management and heart health. Clinical studies for one of these projects will already begin later this year. The other licensed ingredients are currently in advanced preclinical testing and scale-up process.
“Developing breakthrough innovations that are backed by strong science and deliver proven health benefits is a crucial part of our value-driven innovation strategy. We are following a holistic approach to create new concepts that meet consumer requirements. This generates added value for our customers allowing them to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” said Bernhard Müller, Director Global R&D/Technology Cognis Nutrition & Health. “These latest ingredients will further strengthen our product portfolio in important global growth markets. We expect the first product to hit the market within the next years.”
Bernard Becker, Managing Director of InterMed Discovery added: “Such success bodes well for IMD’s future. It underlines the potential of IMD’s food ingredient pipeline and proves the strength of our technology platform. It furthermore confirms our business model to make natural products into an essential part of the life science and chemical industries of tomorrow.”
In March 2008, both companies announced a strategic cooperation. Under this agreement, Cognis can use IMD’s natural product database – the world’s largest of its kind – and has exclusive access to selected potential active ingredients for specific applications in functional foods and dietary supplements.
Cognis is a worldwide supplier of specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 5,500 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and provides value adding solutions and products based on renewable raw materials. The company serves the food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, as well as agriculture and mining.
Cognis is currently owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2009, Cognis recorded sales of about 2.6 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (operating result) of 364 million euros.
About InterMed Discovery
InterMed Discovery is a world class natural product lead-discovery company, driving innovation through the generation of novel product candidates for the life science, food and cosmetics industries. Using one of the most powerful validated natural product discovery engines, InterMed Discovery generates proprietary product pipelines of early stage pharmaceuticals and functional ingredients and also supports partners in research and lead generation. Biologically characterized product leads are identified using IMD BIOPROFILING® and NPSilico®, which together comprise a proprietary bioinformatics platform drawing on screening results compiled over many years, complemented by primary biological and chemical research on natural products. InterMed Discovery adds to this the industry’s largest collections of pure compounds, sample fractions and mixtures as its source for potential natural product leads. The Company is located in Dortmund, Germany and was founded in 2006 as a management buyout of the Natural Products Research Unit of Bayer Healthcare. IMD entered into strategic cooperations with companies such as Cognis GmbH and Biotropics Malaysia Berhad. Further information on InterMed Discovery can be found at www.intermed-discovery.com.