US food technology company Spherix, the owner of the new sweetener tagatose, announced this week that the company is to obtain its own source of production for non-food uses of the product.
Spherix recently registered the brand name, 'Naturlose', to distinguish these applications from uses of the low-calorie, full-bulk product in foods that it licensed to MD Foods amba (now merged with Arla Foods amba) of Denmark.
"The large potential market for the non-food uses we have created for Naturlose fully warrants our undertaking production now," said Dr. Gilbert V. Levin, Spherix CEO. "These uses convert common personal and health care products into OTC drugs, or replace present sweeteners in drugs, adding significantly to the value and pricing of each. And our new patents will protect us for a long time," he added.
The non-food uses include health, medicinal and drug applications and Spherix retains all rights to such uses of its product.
Addressing the sales of tagatose for food use, licensed to MD Foods amba, Dr. Levin said that the company is taking steps to force its overly cautious licensee to hasten production and sales. According to a statement made this week, Spherix has made many efforts to induce its licensee to have the product available as soon as sales were permitted.
Sale of tagatose has been legal under FDA regulations since April 2001, but no commercial product has yet been manufactured. The licensee remains strongly optimistic about sales, but wishes to reduce its financial investment by finding a partner. Levin said the Spherix Board of Directors decided this week on a firm course of action designed to speed the highly profitable sales seen for tagatose. The specific actions taken will be released in the near future.