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Sweet success for BOP business

HoneyLab co-founder and science director Dr Shaun Holt. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

Bay Of Plenty healthcare business HoneyLab has “achieved the impossible” by having seven of its natural products licensed by US company, Taro Pharmaceuticals USA.

“Getting natural products licensed to international pharma is quite ground-breaking,” says HoneyLab CEO Anthony Lawler.

“We've shown there’s value in taking a natural product and proving it works beyond doubt, through strong, clinical research.”

The licence agreement means HoneyLab products will be launched in the USA, Canada and Israel. The agreement terms are confidential, but include an up-front fee, payments on milestones and royalties on sales.

HoneyLab products and research specialise in dermatology, pain, infection and nutrition. Its licenced products include Honevo, a cold sore, rosacea and acne treatment made from kanuka honey.

Anthony says HoneyLab’s ongoing clinical research sets them apart from other global natural product companies.

They have completed the world’s largest programme of medical honey research and continue to conduct other studies.

“We have an appetite to invest in clinical research. It's expensive, high risk and takes a long time – but the payoff is agreements like the one we've done with Taro.”

The business’s commitment to science is no accident. Anthony has a natural biotech background and is a former chief executive of milk company, A2 Corporation.

HoneyLab’s science director and co-founder, Shaun Holt, has spent most of his medical career undertaking clinical studies for pharmaceutical companies.

As well as being good news for HoneyLab, the deal will also be lucrative for other BOP businesses, including HoneyLab’s Katikati honey producer and shareholder, BeeNZ.

“There’s no better place to source honey than in the Bay of Plenty and South Waikato. We continue to look at other New Zealand-based raw materials, also.

“No matter how we develop going forward, NZ is the ideal place for us, and will always be our focus.”

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