ZeaVision and DSM Nutritional Products Reach Patent Dispute Settlement Agreement

ST. LOUIS, Apr 7, 2004 -- ZeaVision, LLC and DSM Nutritional Products have jointly announced a settlement agreement resolving a patent dispute for the sale and promotion of zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-ZAN-thin) is a dietary carotenoid found in the macula, the central part of the retina in the eye that is responsible for most fine vision. Zeaxanthin is thought to be an important nutrient for eye health and has other health-related implications.

According to the settlement, ZeaVision has dismissed its patent infringement suit that originally began in February 2003 against, among others, defendant Roche Vitamins Ltd, a Swiss DSM Nutritional Products company, in the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, MO. Under the settlement, DSM receives a limited, non-exclusive license to ZeaVision's patents related to zeaxanthin.

Terry Hatfield, President, ZeaVision LLC, said in a statement, "We are pleased that both companies can now focus on the development of zeaxanthin and we think it is a positive development for consumers concerned with eye health and the millions of people that suffer from macular degeneration." Bob Hartmayer, Chief Operating Officer, DSM Nutritional Products, said that "DSM, as the market leader for carotenoids, can now focus on the development of the zeaxanthin market. We are very excited about the growth potential for this product and believe that zeaxanthin further strengthens our position as the leading innovative supplier to the Nutritional market."

ZeaVision LLC, based in St. Louis, MO, is focused on the development and marketing of zeaxanthin-based supplements for the eye. Dietary zeaxanthin is considered to be a critical nutrient in eye health and in the fight against macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin is also a highly effective antioxidant that provides additional health benefits throughout the body. For further information, please visit www.zeavision.com or contact ZeaVision at 314-628-1000.

DSM Nutritional Products, the successor to Roche's Vitamins & Fine Chemicals Division, is the world's leading supplier of vitamins, carotenoids and other fine chemicals to the feed, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The company will maintain its tradition as a pioneer in the discovery of new products, new formulations and attractive applications for all industry segments. For further information, please visit www.dsmnutritionalproducts.com


DSM is active worldwide in life science and nutritional products, performance materials and industrial chemicals. The company creates innovative products and services that help improve the quality of life. DSM's products are being applied in a wide range of end markets and applications such as human and animal nutrition and health, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, automotive and transport, coatings, housing and electrics & electronics (E&E). The group has annual sales (pro forma including the recent acquisition - renamed DSM Nutritional Products) of approximately EUR 8 billion and employs in the region of 25,000 people around the world. DSM ranks among the global leaders in many of its fields. DSM is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations in Europe, Asia and the Americas. More information about DSM can be found at www.dsm.com.

DSM Nutritional Products
Dr. Thomas Breisach
tel. +41 (61) 6884414
fax +41 (61) 6881810
e-mail [email protected]

ZeaVision, L.L.C.
Terry Hatfield, President
tel. 314-628-1000
fax 314-628-1010
e-mail [email protected]


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