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Derma Sciences CEO Stresses Commitment to Manuka Honey for Wound Care at Comvita Ltd. Annual Meeting
[May 03, 2007]

Derma Sciences CEO Stresses Commitment to Manuka Honey for Wound Care at Comvita Ltd. Annual Meeting


(Science Letter Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Derma Sciences, Inc. (OTCBB: DSCI), a manufacturer and supplier of wound and skin care products, announced that Chairman, President and CEO Edward J. Quilty spoke at the April 20, 2007 annual meeting of Comvita LTD, a New Zealand based natural health products company. Derma Sciences is Comvita Ltd.'s worldwide manufacturing and marketing partner for Active Manuka Honey based wound care products, manufacturing and marketing the Derma Sciences' API-MED brand in North, South, Central and Latin America, while manufacturing and marketing for the global market under the Comvita name. Quilty was introduced by Comvita's CEO Brett Hewlett and he discussed Derma's strategy before approximately 200 Comvita shareholders. Quilty's presence in New Zealand was in conjunction with his attendance at Comvita's global product launch conference where thought leaders from around the world discussed the antimicrobial and wound healing properties of Active Manuka Honey.



Quilty's comments at the Comvita annual meeting conveyed Derma Science's commitment to the Active Manuka Honey product line, stating that upon FDA clearance of Derma Sciences' Active Manuka Honey based dressing (currently under review), the Company plans a major launch of the product under the API-MED brand as part of Derma Sciences overall strategy to advance wound care through the use of innovative technology. Derma Sciences plans to add nine new sales representatives in North America, bringing to 15 the total number of reps, and to add to that number as the product gains market acceptance. The initial target market for Derma Sciences' Active Manuka Honey based product line is expected to be the current market for Silver based dressings. The global market for Silver based dressings is estimated to be $150 million annually.

Concurrent with Quilty's appearance at the Comvita annual meeting, it was announced that Comvita Limited has entered into a Heads of Agreement to acquire Australian firm Medihoney Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Capilano Honey Limited (Aust), in a strategic move to significantly grow its capability and secure a global competitive position in the wound care sector.


The $6 million purchase, while still subject to due diligence, regulatory approval and approval by the shareholders of Capilano Honey, is expected to take effect on June 1, 2007. Medihoney's primary business, which started in 1999, is developing products for protecting and healing skin using biologically active honeys or products made from honey derivatives. The company has developed a range of products that is highly complementary to the Active Manuka Honey wound care and skin care range currently produced by Comvita.

Capilano Honey is the market leader of honey in Australia, packing premium quality honey produced by Australian beekeepers for more than 50 years. Capilano's standing as one of the world's largest honey manufacturers and marketers, boasting an impressive global operation, further reinforces the importance of the new strategic alignment between the two trans-Tasman companies.

Comvita's CEO Brett Hewlett says the company is thrilled with the acquisition. He believes Medihoney's international distribution network in Australia, the UK and Europe, together with its complementary product portfolio and intellectual property will strengthen Comvita's position in the US$7 billion global wound care market.

"Following our investment in Derma Sciences last year, the acquisition of Medihoney will again increase Comvita's competence in the manufacture and marketing of advanced wound care products, cementing our stake in this high growth area. Together with its strong product development impetus and talented team, Medihoney is a welcome addition to the Comvita business," he says.

Roger Masters, Managing Director for Capilano, sees Medihoney as a complementary fit to Comvita's healthcare business and as an opportunity to accelerate the commercialization process in the development and marketing of antimicrobial honey products.

"Medihoney and Comvita are the two major participants in therapeutic honey in the international market and it makes a great deal of sense to combine our efforts. Capilano, by holding a direct investment in Comvita, will continue to share in the future potential of the medical honey business."

This deal is Comvita's second major acquisition in a month after it purchased its Hong Kong distribution partner, GreenLife Limited, in March.

Copyright 2007 Science Letter via NewsRx.com

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