Lavipharm in US deal

NAPA, California – Nasdaq-listed Senetek PLC, a healthcare technologies company focused on developing and co-marketing products applicable to the anti-aging markets in key skin care/dermatological and sexual dysfunction categories worldwide, has announced the signing of a license agreement with Greece’s Lavipharm SA, a major manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical, cosmetic and consumer health products with extensive R&D activity. Senetek said that under the agreement, Lavipharm will launch a line of Kinetin-based skin care products in the ethical and OTC pharmacy market under its well-known brand name Castalia. The launch in Greece and Cyprus is targeted for the second half of 2003. The two companies will also work together to develop additional proprietary Kinetin-based products using Lavipharm exclusive technologies. Founded in 1911, Lavipharm has a fast-growing presence in the rest of Europe, the USA, Japan and selected countries in Middle East and Asia. Senetek and Lavipharm are currently in process of evaluating these capabilities for the enhancement of both company’s portfolio worldwide, Senetek said. Andreas O. Tobler, chief operating officer and managing director Europe of Senetek, commented: «The Greek dermatological market is attractive and Lavipharm is by far the largest player. Additionally, Lavipharm has strong R&D capabilities and is working with us on the development of new and proprietary products, in particular its ‘Solid Gel Technology’ incorporating Kinetin. Lavipharm will also prove to be a valuable partner in opening additional markets where Kinetin is not represented yet.» Athanassios Lavidas, chairman and CEO of Lavipharm, commented: «The Kinetin-based skin care products and the leading position we have in the Greek pharmacy market, combined with our historical strong franchise with dermatologists, will add significant value to our well-established brand Castalia, currently exported to a number of markets. We believe this new agreement with Senetek marks the beginning for exciting future collaborations. Combining our proprietary technologies, such as Solid Gel, with Senetek’s product portfolio will open up new horizons for both companies.» Senetek’s patented ingredient, Kinetin, is a naturally occurring cytokinin that has proven to be highly effective in treated aging skin virtually without any side effects that are seen with other competing products. Senetek’s other licensees, to include ICN Pharmaceuticals, Revlon Inc. and The Body Shop, have successfully introduced Kinetin in their respective channels of distribution and territories. Lavipharm’s consolidated turnover in 2002 exceeded 300 million euros.