IP and patents for sleep enhancing milk

Published: Tue 7 Dec 2010 01:43 PM
New Image Group acquires IP and patents for sleep enhancing milk
Health and wellness products manufacturer New Image Group Limited (NZX: NEW) has acquired the business assets of Auckland-based biotechnology company Somnaceutics Limited.
The assets include the patents and intellectual property connected with the natural sleep-enhancing milk product that was invented in New Zealand by pre-eminent scientist Professor Bob Elliott and with the support of leading scientists and organisations.
New Image and Somnaceutics jointly conducted a market trial with the sleeping enhancing milk product, branded Sleeptime, in Taiwan earlier this year. New Image’s research had shown sleep deprivation is a real concern to Taiwanese living a high-pressure lifestyle.
Following a successful Taiwanese trial, Somnaceutics also won the Cawthron Institute award for Innovation in Science and Technology for Sleeptime at the Natural Products New Zealand Industry Awards.
New Image executive chairman Graeme Clegg says the acquisition is part of accelerating New Image’s development of natural products that are scientifically based and clinically proven.
New Image also acquired of a controlling stake in New Zealand natural skin care company Living Nature last month.
“Both acquisitions place New Image in a very strong international competitive position, with a growing portfolio of scientifically-backed, natural products that appeal to sophisticated global consumers,” Mr Clegg says.
Somnaceutics’ former chief executive Guy Wills has joined New Image as General Manager, Health Sciences. He says poor sleep is a large and growing problem that has been reported to effect up to 50% of people in the developed world. Consumers are increasingly seeking natural and effective alternatives to prescription sleep medicines.
He says Somnaceutic’s investors, which include the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, Pacific Channel and private investors, recognise New Image has the marketing resources to develop sales globally. They are also pleased the sleep enhancing milk product will continue to be produced from New Zealand.
Mr Wills will be responsible for driving sales of the sleep enhancing milk product through New Image’s direct selling distribution channel and also through traditional retail and food service distribution channels globally.
“Our unique, natural and clinically and market proven product has seen overwhelming international interest from major pharmaceutical, functional food and global trading houses,” Mr Wills says.
Production is now being ramped up. More cows that naturally produce milk with the sleep enhancement effect are being added to special dairy herds.

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