The deal will see chemical company BASF sell its manufacturing facility for natural fish oils and medium-concentrated omega-3 in Brattvåg, Norway, to food industry supplier Marine Ingredients for an undisclosed amount.
The news comes two years after BASF entered the pharma-grade omega-3 fatty acid industry through its acquisition of (and investment in) Equateq - now BASF Pharma Callanish - and the subsequent acquisition of Pronova Biopharma for 5bn kroner ($833m).
With the latter acquisition, BASF retained the supply contract with GlaxoSmithKline for the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in its heart pill Lovaza, and since the company has also been approved to supply the API for Amarin’s rival drug, Vascepa.
“The Brattvåg site produced middle concentrated omega-3s that are used in the dietary supplements industry,” BASF spokesman Andres Christian Orthofer told in-Pharmatechnologist.com. “Therefore there should be no relation between Brattvåg and any supply, for example for GSK.”
The sale reaffirms BASF’s ambition to further grow its highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids business based on rising demand across a number of industries, including pharma.
“Highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids for consumer health, clinical nutrition and pharmaceutical products are one of the key growth areas for BASF’s Nutrition & Health division,” Chris Wilson, also of BASF added.
“The high concentrates segment is characterized by innovation, product differentiation, regulatory know how and other entry barriers,” he told us. “In this domain, BASF can most effectively realize synergies via its global presence, significant know how in manufacturing and a long standing expertise in regulatory affairs as well as in R&D.”
Drug-grade omega-3 represents a large chunk of the $2.3bn global market and, according to Wilson, is expected to grow in part due to expanding middle class in emerging economies and the popularity of nutraceuticals in industrialised countries.