LAVAL, Quebec, April 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune") (Nasdaq:NEPT) (TSX:NTB) and Acasti Pharma Inc. ("Acasti") (Nasdaq:ACST) (TSX-V:APO), a Neptune subsidiary, announce that the U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to institute an investigation of alleged patent infringements by Aker BioMarine AS; Aker BioMarine Antarctic USA, Inc.; Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS; Enzymotec Limited; Enzymotec USA, Inc.; Olympic Seafood AS; Olympic Biotec Ltd.; Avoca, Inc.; Rimfrost USA, LLC and Bioriginal Food & Science Corp. (collectively the "Respondents").
The investigation was instituted on the basis of a complaint filed with the ITC by Neptune and Acasti earlier this year. The complaint alleges violations by the respondents regarding the importation into the United States and sale of certain omega-3 extracts and products from marine or aquatic biomass that infringe certain Neptune and Acasti patents. Neptune and Acasti requested that the ITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order to ban the importation and sale of infringing extracts and products.
"The ITC's decision to institute an investigation following our claims of alleged patent infringements by our competitors is significant, not only because it reflects tangible progress in line with our strategic action plan to protect our intellectual property (IP), but also because it allows us to establish a clear and defined short term timeline to conclude matters," said Mr. Henri Harland, President and CEO of Neptune and Acasti. "Neptune and Acasti's IP is strong and valuable and it is management's duty to defend it, not only for business ethical reasons, but mainly because it is a fundamental asset and an important part of our shareholder value as it pertains to both our neutraceutical and pharmaceutical businesses," added Mr. Harland.According to the notice issued by the ITC, a target date for completing the investigation will be set within 45 days after institution of the investigation. Full text of the ITC announcement can be found at http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2013/er0411ll1.htm . About Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. Neptune is a biotechnology company engaged primarily in the development and commercialization of marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs. Neptune has a patented process of extracting oils from Antarctic krill, which omega-3 PUFAs are then principally sold as bulk oil to Neptune's distributors who commercialize them under their private label primarily in the U.S., European and Asian neutraceutical markets. Neptune's lead products, Neptune Krill Oil (NKO®) and ECOKRILL Oil (EKO™), generally come in capsule form and serve as a dietary supplement to consumers.