~EU Commission Decision Approves Reducol(tm) in Milk Based Beverages~
Vancouver, Canada. Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (TSE:FMI and NASDAQ:FMTI) today announced a European Commission decision has been issued authorizing the use of Forbes' cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol(tm), in milk-based beverages. The approval of Reducol(tm) in milk-based products creates a major opportunity for Forbes Medi-Tech to attract new contracts, drive revenue growth and increase shareholder value. Plant sterol sales in Europe are estimated to grow at a rate of 15% annually until 2010 in Europe, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report.
"We now have the ability to pursue sales of Reducol(tm) in Europe and expand our global ingredient business," said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. "Currently, being the largest approved source of wood sterols in the world, we are in a favorable position to capitalize on EU countries' preference for non-GMO ingredients." The number of member countries in the European Union has recently been expanded to 25 with the addition of 10 countries in May of this year.
The approval of Reducol(tm) eliminates the requirement for further scientific evaluation to incorporate the ingredient into various approved food categories. Accordingly, Forbes plans to file a substantial equivalence notification letter with the EU commission informing them of its intention to sell Reducol(tm) as an ingredient in other food groups. Each EU food manufacturer using the Reducol(tm) ingredient will then be required to file a similar notification letter.
Without the requirement for scientific evaluation, notifications are expected to be cleared in a relatively short time. Reducol(tm) is produced at Forbes' 50-50 manufacturing joint venture facility, Phyto-Source LP, near Houston, Texas.
About Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.
Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative prescription pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and related diseases. Forbes' scientific platform is based on core sterol technology. By extracting plant sterols from by-products of the forestry industry, Forbes has developed cholesterol-lowering agents for use in pharmaceutical compounds, functional foods and dietary supplements.
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NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this News Release. This News Release contains forward-looking statements regarding future anticipated sales contracts for Reducol(tm) in Europe, the Company's potential future revenue growth, market positioning and shareholder value, future European regulatory clearances for Reducol(tm) in various food categories, and the estimated future growth rate of plant sterol sales in Europe.
Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "opportunity", "estimated to grow", "to pursue", "expand", "to capitalize", "plans", "intention", "expected" or any other variations thereon or comparable terminology referring to future dates, events or results. Forward-looking statements are statements about the future and are inherently uncertain, and the Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in those forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors, including without limitation, the need to obtain contracts for the sale of Reducol(tm) in Europe and the need for performance by the buyers under such contracts; uncertainty of the existence or size of a market opportunity for the Company's sterol products, including Reducol(tm), in Europe or whether the Company's sales will grow at the forecasted rate for the plant sterol market or at all; marketing/manufacturing and partnership/strategic alliance risks; the Company's dependency on its joint venture, Phyto-Source LP, and its joint venture partner, Chusei (U.S.A.) Inc., for the production of Reducol(tm); the need to secure sufficient quantities of raw materials on a timely basis at acceptable prices, which is not assured; the effect of competition; exchange rate fluctuations; product liability and insurance risks; risks inherent in the development of new products; environmental risks; intellectual property risks; the Company's need for additional future capital, which may not be available in a timely manner or at all; the need for clearance by the EU of notifications by the Company and its customers of the intended use of Reducol(tm) in other food categories, which may not be obtained in a timely manner or at all; as well as a description of other risks and uncertainties affecting the Company and its business, as contained in news releases and filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities, any of which could cause actual results to vary materially from current results or the Company's anticipated future results. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this press release.