National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

September 25, 2009 14:42 ET

National Research Council, Omnia Foods Sign Licensing Agreement for Cholesterol-Reduction Technology

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2009) - Government of Canada researchers at the National Research Council (NRC) have developed innovative technology to help lower bad cholesterol levels by combining natural botanical extracts.

This innovative solution may make it easier for Canadians to manage health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and high fat levels in the blood. Vancouver-based Omnia Foods Ltd. has acquired the North American rights to this technology, which was developed at NRC's Nutrisciences and Health cluster initiative in Charlottetown.

The combination of botanical extracts may take the form of a dietary supplement, a nutraceutical or an ingredient in a functional food. Common functional foods include calcium-enriched orange juice or yogurt with a probiotic culture.

"The Government of Canada is committed to accelerating community-led innovation by fostering world-class R&D with a clear focus on generating economic opportunities for Canadian companies and communities," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "The results: new knowledge, new skills, new partnerships and new business opportunities focused on the priorities of Canadians."

NRC research shows that the technology helps to lower LDL-cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, by 66 per cent while reducing fat in the blood by 50 per cent, providing benefits to Canadians without the potentially serious side-effects often associated with statin drugs, which are commonly prescribed to reduce fat levels in human blood.

"NRC cluster initiatives create a dynamic location where companies, government, and universities can network, invest and bring innovative technologies to market," said NRC President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. "NRC clusters promote productivity, economic growth and competitiveness by putting science to work for Canada."

This announcement coincides with National Biotechnology Week, which runs from September 18-25.

"Omnia Foods is confident that NRC's technology will further our efforts to launch new natural health products throughout North America," said Mira Laza, Chief of Food Technology of Omnia Foods. "As incidences of cardiovascular disease continue to rise, North Americans need safer, more effective options to keep them healthy."

About the NRC cluster initiative

The National Research Council Institute for Nutrisciences and Health is one of 11 federally-funded technology cluster initiatives in regions across Canada. Through these clusters, NRC delivers on its commitment to contribute to the global competitiveness of Canadian industry and to the economic well-being of communities across Canada.

The NRC Nutrisciences and Health technology cluster brings together experts from NRC, other government organizations, bioscience industry, and universities and colleges to work together to improve the health of Canadians.

About Omnia Foods Ltd.

Omnia Foods Ltd. is a Vancouver-based, private life-sciences company dedicated to research, development and commercialization of nutraceuticals for use in functional foods and natural health products in the field of metabolic syndrome. It focuses on natural bioactives that are scientifically proven to alleviate metabolic syndrome conditions through management of weight, risk-reduction of coronary heart disease and diabetes.

For more information, please visit NRC's Web site at

Contact Information

  • National Research Council Canada
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications