NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J., July 10, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- WellGen, Inc., a biotechnology company using nutrigenomics to discover and develop food ingredients for wellness products, today announced the award of U.S. Patent No.7,238,376, "Black Tea Extract for Prevention of Disease" that covers, among other things, its proprietary product, WG0401, an enriched extract from black tea which has demonstrated inflammation-fighting properties.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent on July 3, 2007. "Black Tea Extract for Prevention of Disease," covers the uses of WG0401 for arthritis, inflammation and cancer.
WellGen will begin marketing WG0401 to the nutritional supplement industry, where products for joint health have grown into a billion-dollar industry. WG0401 offers distinct new benefits to this marketplace due to the depth of scientific research supporting its performance, the known mechanism of its action at the cellular level, and the quick onset of its activity, which was demonstrated in recently completed human studies.
This patent award adds tremendous value to WellGen's marketing efforts for WG0401 as a functional food ingredient aimed at promoting joint health and comfort, anti-aging and immune-defense support, and for contributing to cardiovascular health.
Dr. Kathleen P. Mullinix, Chief Executive Officer of WellGen, stated, "This patent is a major milestone for our company and for our industry. Our product addresses relevant consumer needs and has significant scientific substantiation to support its claims, in addition to being proprietary. The patent is a rewarding achievement -- but, we believe, only the first in a long line of similar future achievements.
"Eventually, we hope to become a major presence in the fast-growing functional foods and nutraceuticals industry. By 2006, the functional food and beverage industry had grown into an $80 billion business as people increasingly seek foods and food ingredients that provide a distinctive health benefit.
"WellGen is one of the first companies to employ the science of nutrigenomics -- the study of how food ingredients affect the expression of genes that influence human states of health and wellness. We believe WG0401 is the first nutrigenomics-developed ingredient to be commercialized for consumer application," said Dr. Mullinix.
Dr. Mullinix also stated that WellGen has already contracted for the large-scale manufacture of WG0401, to provide quantities as needed. In addition, the Company is in the process of finalizing a distribution agreement with Charles Bowman and Company, a leading supplier of nutrition ingredients and fine chemicals to the food, feed, pharmaceutical and health industries, which will facilitate WellGen's entry into the marketplace. Charles Bowman and Company can be contacted through Greg Edmunds, VP-Marketing, at 616-786-4000. Its website is http://www.charlesbowman.com.
Dr. Mullinix pointed out that WellGen is continuing to conduct studies for additional applications of its proprietary extract. Specifically, the Company will develop data to support a broad range of applications for the product that are directed to the prevention of conditions that have inflammation as their underlying cause.
In addition, WellGen has several other products in its pipeline, in various stages of development. In particular, WellGen is in late-stage development of a program focused on obesity, in which it is developing proprietary ingredients for foods that can affect the genes involved in the formation and growth of fat cells.
In May 2007, WellGen moved into new headquarters and operating facilities located in the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies, at the Technology Centre of New Jersey, in North Brunswick, NJ. "Our new, larger home will be an important asset as we make the transition into a major new stage of our Company's development," Dr. Mullinix concluded.
WellGen, Inc., based in North Brunswick, NJ, is a biotechnology company that is discovering and developing products for food, therapeutics, and dietary supplement markets with a strategic focus on functional foods. WellGen's proprietary technology platform is a method of screening the effect of food and related substances on the expression of genes associated with human health conditions. The company has developed proprietary substances that help maintain health and reduce risk and severity for a variety of diseases. Please visit our website at http://www.wellgen.com for more information.