Burcon Announces Year-End Results, Reviews Operations
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX:BU) (Nasdaq:BUR) ("Burcon") today reported financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 and provided a review of the year's operations.
A summary of the highlights of the past year includes:
- Archer Daniels Midland Company ("ADM") launched CLARISOY™ 100, the first product in the CLARISOY™ line, at the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in June 2011. ADM also announced that they will launch the first extension of CLARISOY™ at the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in June 2012;
- ADM announced the opening of its first commercial-scale plant to make CLARISOY™;
- In October 2011, Burcon's common shares commenced trading on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "BUR";
- Developed PEAZAZZ™, a novel pea protein that is 100% soluble and transparent in low pH solutions with clean flavour characteristics and is heat stable permitting hot fill applications;
- Filed several patent applications over novel or alternative processes for the production and functional applications of, and functional attributes of CLARISOY® soy protein, as well as over the composition and functional applications of canola protein isolates;
- Nine U.S. patents granted over Burcon's canola protein patent applications; and
- Canola License and Development agreement with ADM terminated on March 1, 2012.
Since the signing of the License and Production Agreement with ADM in March 2011 for CLARISOY™ soy protein, Burcon's scientific team has been focused on further optimization of the CLARISOY™ process and further improvements of the final products, including increasing yields and improving economics. In addition, the Winnipeg Technical Centre focused on gathering data required for scale-up to production plant and equipment selection and provided assistance in the start-up of the semi-works facility. Burcon produced significant quantities of CLARISOY™ samples for ADM customer evaluations.
Burcon announced it had developed a novel pea protein isolate that it has branded PEAZAZZ™. PEAZAZZ™ pea protein may be used in a variety of healthy consumer product applications and should be of interest to companies looking for a functional alternative plant protein ingredient. Until April 2012, Burcon held exclusive negotiations with a potential partner to commercialize PEAZAZZ™ pea protein and the associated protein extraction technology. On April 23, 2012, Burcon announced that although discussions with this potential partner are ongoing, the exclusivity period had lapsed. Therefore, Burcon will consider additional routes-to-market for its PEAZAZZ™ pea protein.
On March 1, 2011, Burcon and ADM amended the License and Development Agreement (the "Canola Agreement") to provide a one-year extension to the development period to March 1, 2012 to facilitate continued research aimed at expanding the commercial value of Puratein® and Supertein™ canola protein isolates. Burcon agreed to reimburse ADM for its share of the U.S. regulatory recognition process of US$360,000 (CA$359,100) if ADM chose not to proceed with the license under the Canola Agreement. These funds were deposited into an interest-bearing escrow account held in trust for Burcon and ADM and would be released to ADM if Burcon and ADM did not agree to any further extensions and amendments by March 1, 2012. Upon ADM's receipt of the escrow funds, all intellectual property, reports, studies or other materials prepared by ADM, Burcon or by a third party in connection with the U.S. regulatory recognition process would be deemed to be owned solely by Burcon and ADM would have no further rights with respect thereto. The Canola Agreement terminated on March 1, 2012 and the funds held in escrow were released to ADM in April 2012. Given the termination of the Canola Agreement, Burcon is free to choose alternative paths for the commercialization of its technology for the production of its canola proteins: Puratein®, Supertein™ and Nutratein™ canola protein isolates.
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