Novozymes closes streptococcal-based production of hyaluronic acid

Novozymes has decided to close its production facility in the Shandong Province, China, by January 7, 2008. As a result of the closure, Novozymes will no longer produce or sell streptococcal based hyaluronic acid.

The facility in the Shandong Province, China, for streptococcal based production of hyaluronic acid (sHA) was originally acquired by Novozymes in early 2006 as an addition to Novozymes’ existing bacillus based hyaluronic acid (bHA) production.

Novozymes is now closing the facility because of adverse market developments. In particular, accelerating price erosion for sHA in the dietary supplement market coupled with a low growth outlook in technical markets has meant that the commercial assumptions behind the acquisition can no longer be met. The decision will have no significant financial impact for Novozymes.

The facility employs a total of 132 employees. Novozymes will as far as possible help all employees when the facility closes.

Based on growing interest in Novozymes’ proprietary HyaCare® bHA technology, we will maintain our focus on high end bHA applications. Novozymes is currently collaborating with partners to explore the product’s use in the delivery of anti-cancer drugs, and in tissue engineering applications such as in skin engineering, cartilage repair and bone regeneration. HyaCare® is currently employed in cosmetics, eye care applications such as eye drops, contact lens cleaning solutions, and coating of contact lenses.