Sweet deal for zuChem

zuChem has signed an agreement with Hydrios Biotechnology for the acquisition of a portfolio of patents developed by Hydrios and the Helsinki University of Technology.

zuChem, Inc, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Hydrios Biotechnology Ltd of Helsinki, Finland for the acquisition of a portfolio of patents developed by Hydrios and the Laboratory of Bioprocess Engineering at Helsinki University of Technology.

The agreement transfers to zuChem all rights to a worldwide patent portfolio of microbial fermentation methods of producing D-mannitol, a reduced calorie sweetener. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

‘Our acquisition of this significant patent portfolio is an exciting addition to our existing portfolio of mannitol production technologies and is a prime example of zuChem’s strategy to support the company’s polyol manufacturing development programs,’ said David Demirjian, CEO & president of zuChem.

‘zuChem plans to build on the groundwork laid by Hydrios to continue to develop and implement new, cost-effective methods for manufacturing high-quality specialised sugars needed by the food industry,’ added Demirjian.

‘zuChem is an ideal partner to commercialise this innovative production process,’ said Dr. Niklas von Weymarn, managing director of Hydrios. ‘This new microbial process can benefit food companies through the delivery of a consistent, cost-effective supply of D-mannitol.’

Mannitol is a food ingredient used as a substitute sugar in sweets, gums, diabetic foods, drinks, and other foods. zuChem plans to begin selling mannitol manufactured by its bioprocess at the beginning of 2004.