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Lonza and DSM settle omega-3 patent dispute

18-Feb-2014
Last updated the 20-Feb-2014 at 10:05 GMT

Lonza and DSM end decade-long patent dispute over DHA
Lonza and DSM end decade-long patent dispute over DHA

Ingredients giants DSM and Lonza have settled a patent dispute over production of algal-sourced omega-3 oils (DHA) that lasted for almost ten years.

Under the agreement, DSM Nutritional Products becomes Lonza’s supplier for its Schizochytrium-based DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 oil.

Matthias Rüsing, global product manager for Lonza’s DHAid said that the global food supplements market would remain the focus for DHAid, not the lucrative and fast-growing infant formula space which DSM dominates via the algae DHA business it paid €800m for in the form of Martek Biosciences at the back end of 2010.

The patent dispute dates back to 2006 when Maryland-based Martek successfully sued Lonza over patent infringement relating to the US activities of the DHA business Lonza had itself just acquired from Celanese-owned Nutrinova late in 2005. It was prevented from marketing DHA there.

The global omega-3 market is estimated at €20bn+ although the US supplements market has been in slight decline in the past couple of years as negative press around some research, as well as sustainability and pricing concerns and a slow economy, have been felt.

Lonza offerings include niacin and L-carnitine.

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