Cognis, a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, and InterMed Discovery (IMD), an emerging world class natural product lead-discovery company, today announced that Cognis has exclusively licensed an anti-obesity product candidate from InterMed Discovery’s advanced discovery pipeline of functional food ingredients. This transaction is the first to follow the cooperation agreement signed by the two companies in March this year.
Scientists at IMD, using IMD’s advanced discovery platform, discovered the unique natural product and qualified its promising weight reducing properties through preclinical in vivo studies in several obesity models. As this ingredient has already shown initial safety and efficacy in animal studies, Cognis will now be able to set up first human studies very rapidly. This will allow to shorten the time-to-market significantly.
Norbert Weitkemper, Director of Strategic Business Development Nutrition & Health at Cognis commented: “Obesity has become a major challenge in the developed world where gradual weight gain is the norm for almost everybody. For that reason, we believe that active ingredients promoting weight management through functional food have a unique selling potential in the consumer market. By licensing this active ingredient from our partner InterMed Discovery, we are strengthening our product portfolio in this important growth market. Further ingredients from IMD matching our customers’ market demands are still in the exploration phase.”
“We are delighted to have achieved this first milestone in our cooperation with Cognis within such a short period of time. It is a sign of the enormous potential of IMD’s natural product pipeline that we can license a first proprietary development product candidate so soon. Such successes bode well for the future.” said Bernard Becker, Managing Director of InterMed Discovery.
Under the terms of a licensing agreement, Cognis is now taking over the lead to develop the product candidate and will be responsible for marketing any products resulting from this process. In return, InterMed Discovery will receive an upfront payment and royalties for this innovative molecule.
Prior this year both companies announced a strategic cooperation giving Cognis access to InterMed Discovery’s world’s largest natural product data base and an exclusive access to selected potential active ingredients for specific applications in functional foods, dietary supplements as well as personal and home care products.
Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 7,600 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for 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, textiles, as well as agriculture and mining.
Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2007, Cognis recorded sales of 3.51 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (operating result) of 410 million euros.
About InterMed Discovery
InterMed Discovery is an emerging 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 characterised 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. Further information on InterMed Discovery can be found at www.intermed-discovery.com.