Laval, Québec, CANADA - December 19th, 2007 - Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune") (NASDAQ.NEPT - TSX.V.NTB) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with AZPA International Inc. ("AZPA International") for Australia and New Zealand. AZPA International, a leading supplier to the pharmaceutical, nutritional health and cosmetics industries, has also acquired non-exclusive rights to commercialize Neptune's products in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.
The nationwide product launch of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO®) in Australia and New Zealand,claiming cardiovascular and joint health benefits,is scheduled for February 2008. A pre-requisite for commercializing NKO® in Australia hence New Zealand is obtaining approval as a complementary medicine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which notification Neptune has recently announced.
AZPA International joined forces for the commercialization and distribution of NKO® with PharmaLink Pte. Ltd. ("PharmaLink"), a leading provider of complementary and over-the-counter medicines and a leader in healthcare sales and marketing in the Asia-Pacific region. PharmaLink will be reaching the market through its primary care team, its pharmacy/ OTC team and its specialist/ allied health team.
"It is estimated that 74% of the Australian population has used complementary medicine in the previous twelve months and usage rates are expected to rise,1" said Thierry Houillon, Vice President of Nutraceuticals of Neptune. "An estimated annual increase of 18% has been reported for the complementary medicine market in Australia.2 We are looking forward to working with AZPA International and PharmaLink benefiting from this trend and making NKO® a household name in Australia and New Zealand," he added.
PharmaLink, in collaboration with AZPA International, will also prepare a comprehensive marketing campaign, including medical conventions, tradeshows, and extensive press and mass media coverage. Selected consumers will be taking NKO® for a period of three months and will subsequently be reporting on radio & TV talk shows about their experience with NKO®.
In addition, AZPA International will be working with Lipa Pharmaceuticals, Australia's leading contract manufacturer to the nutritional and pharmaceutical industries, which makes products in key growth areas of complementary and alternative medicines, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pharmaceuticals.
1. Source: Cardinal Health. Vitamin, Mineral, Herbal and Nutritional Supplements, 4 October 2005
2. Source: Complementary Healthcare Council communication, 13 September 2005.
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