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Evolva to Expand Nutritional Ingredients Portfolio With Abunda Acquisition

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Evolva to Expand Nutritional Ingredients Portfolio With Abunda Acquisition

Evolva to Expand Nutritional Ingredients Portfolio With Abunda Acquisition
April 08
14:14 2011

Evolva, the Swiss pharmaceutical group, is expanding its innovative nutritional ingredients portfolio with the acquisition of R&D partner Abunda Nutrition, the US food ingredients business. Evolva and San Francisco-based Abunda have collaborated on the development of Abunda’s next-generation nutritional ingredients since 2009.

One part of this collaboration, using Evolva’s proprietary technology, succeeded in making the key components of the natural high intensity sweetener Stevia via fermentation in yeast. This process by-passes the complex logistics associated with the traditional cultivation, processing and refining of Stevia plants, and allows pure Stevia sweetness components to be produced.

The value of the global sweetener market is currently estimated at $70b per annum, with sugar the dominant product. Within this market, Stevia-based sweeteners are the fastest growing segment, with demand driven in part because Stevia extracts have 200-300 times the sweetness of sugar, but also because of increasing consumer demand for health, wellness, and performance products that are low-carbohydrate and low-sugar. By enabling the introduction of new sweetener products with compelling health, taste and other benefits for consumers, pure fermentation-derived Stevia components can potentially take an important part of the overall sweetener market.

In addition to Stevia, Evolva will obtain full ownership of certain additional development-stage compounds with relevance in cardiovascular health and other nutrition sectors. Clinical nutrition trials have been conducted on selected compounds.

Under the terms of the proposed merger, Evolva will acquire 100% of the share capital of Abunda in return for 25 million Evolva shares (12.9% of Evolva’s share capital post transaction, fully diluted).

“High-performance nutritional ingredients are becoming more valuable as both food and pharmaceutical companies seek better ways to deliver health benefits to consumers and patients around the world. We are excited by the commercial potential of the Stevia products we are developing together with Abunda and believe they create significant additional partnering opportunities for Evolva,” explains Neil Goldsmith, chief executive of Evolva. “We intend to commercialise Stevia following our established business-to-business model and expect to actively enter collaborations with companies regarding manufacturing scale-up and commercialisation. We believe products containing pure, fermentation derived Stevia components should be widely available in the next few years and that these will deliver winning combinations of health, taste and value to consumers around the world.”

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