Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Neptune Awarded Canadian Patent & Conference Call Highlights

Neptune Technologies and Biorresources
TSX: NTB – NASDAQ: NEPT
Basic Shares: 60.0 million
Fully Diluted: 67.5 million

 
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Prior to Neptune’s first quarter conference call this morning, the company issued a news release announcing that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted Neptune a composition patent (CA2,493,888), which covers omega-3 phospholipids comprising polyunsaturated fatty acids, the main bioactive ingredients in all recognized krill oil.

To view today’s news release, please click here.

At 9am (ET) Neptune hosted a first quarter conference call. Here are some key highlights from the call:
  • Neptune reached a significant milestone during the first quarter with the commencement of construction at its Sherbrooke facility.
  • Upon completion, which is expected before the end of this fiscal year, the plant is expected to have the capacity to produce more than 150,000 kilograms of Neptune krill oil per year.
  • In terms of insurance recoveries, the company has received $6.7 million to date, including $700 thousand during the first quarter.
  • “We are making solid progress with our plans to restore and expand production capacity through third party suppliers and/or manufacturers. Discussions are advancing with a limited number of parties and we are working hard to negotiate an agreement that is in the best interest of all.”
  • Neptune is actively preparing for the upcoming U.S. International Trade Commission’s hearings into patent infringements by competitors. Formal completion of the investigation has been set for March 17, 2014, with evidentiary hearings scheduled to commence on December 10, 2013.
  • Acasti remains focused on completing its Phase II clinical trials. The final report for the open-label, dose ranging study is projected for this summer, while results for the double blind, placebo controlled study are expected to be available during the first half of calendar 2014. Concurrently with these trials, Acasti is moving forward to finalize prerequisites for an IND filing with the U.S. FDA for PK and Phase III clinical studies in the U.S.
  • Under an exclusive technology license agreement with Neptune, Acasti recently became royalty free following a decision to exercise its option to pay in advance all future royalties payable under the License Agreement.
  • The prepayment increases Neptune's equity participation in Acasti from approximately 57% to approximately 60%.
  • “Our other subsidiary, NeuroBioPharm, is continuing to explore and clinically validate new product applications for the management of neurological & cognitive disorders, with commercialization of NeuroBioPharm’s products expected during calendar 2014.”
  • Neptune’s first quarter neutraceutical revenues on a stand-alone basis were $6.1 million, down slightly from the prior year, but up by more than 30% from the last quarter.
  • Margins have improved, increasing from 5% in Q4 of our last fiscal year to 10% in the first quarter.

An archive version of the call will be available on Neptune’s website as soon as it can be posted.   http://www.neptunebiotech.com/en/webcast