SHOREVIEW, Minn., and COZAD, Neb. -- Forage Genetics Inc. and NuTein Companies Inc. have announced they have formalized their commitment to work with each other on an exclusive basis to optimize lutein production in alfalfa.
Lutein is a natural plant-based substance demonstrated to help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a debilitating eye disease in humans, when used as a dietary supplement.
Under the new agreement, Forage Genetics will provide NuTein with a broad base of support including:
Additionally, Forage Genetics has committed to establishing laboratory and scientific support to assist NuTein in alfalfa development activities.
For the past two years, NuTein has operated a pilot plant for lutein extraction in Cozad, Neb. Pre-production manufacturing results have demonstrated the basis for a large-scale and viable nutraceutical company. NuTein has plans to immediately begin scaling up to full production capabilities.
As part of the agreement, Forage Genetics will invest an undisclosed amount in NuTein and will be issued one million warrants to purchase NuTein stock at a future date.
"We are pleased that Forage Genetics and NuTein have developed this synergistic relationship," said Mark McCaslin, president of Forage Genetics. "NuTein allows us to leverage our existing strength in alfalfa seed and crop production by aligning ourselves with an emerging alfalfa nutraceutical company."
Todd Leonard, president and CEO, NuTein Companies Inc., said, "This relationship with Forage Genetics is significant, as it addresses the challenges of alfalfa crop management and delivery of the feedstock to the NuTein production sites, to meet NuTein's need to harvest up to 15,000 acres of alfalfa each month at each of our sites across the country.
"Forage Genetics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes specializing in alfalfa genetics, provides us with a critical service that we deem necessary to grow our business," Leonard said. "We are also thrilled to have Dr. McCaslin join our advisory board."
Forage Genetics Inc. is a world leader in the development, production and marketing of high-quality, value-added alfalfa genetics and biotech traits through in-house research and development, external collaborations with biotech companies, and research institutes and universities. Through its Haymarkets.com Web site, Forage Genetics is also building an efficient and effective supply-chain management system for the alfalfa industry.
NuTein Companies Inc. is a Minnesota-based company formed to commercialize a variety of products extracted from alfalfa -- taking alfalfa farm products and converting them to nutraceutical and pharma products. With more than 150 alfalfa byproducts that have commercial value, NuTein has focused its initial efforts on those products derived from alfalfa that are easiest for the company to extract and are scaleable and profitable at full production. NuTein has a pilot production facility in Cozad, Neb.
SOURCE: News release from Forage Genetics Inc. and NuTein Companies Inc.