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Au natural for Metabolic Research
MONTGOMERY, Texas—After some piecemeal licensing of technologies relating to the use of fungi, plants, and animals for the production of anti-inflammatory and analgesic products for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, Metabolic Research Inc. decided to buy exclusive global rights to the technology. In the process, it also got the developers of the patented biotechnology process, Dr. David Summers and T.W. Owen, as C-level executives. Metabolic Research plans to use this technology to further its research and development of new natural product-based anti-inflammatory and analgesic products, both pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, for the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
The company had originally started out with a licensing agreement for North America, then "when they really got their sleeves rolled up and realized how huge a market there was in terms of how many people suffer from inflammatory disease, they wanted to do more," recalls Owen, now CFO and secretary/treasurer of Metabolic Research. The company then inquired about the cost of European licensure and secured that from Summers and Owen.
"The farther we progressed in these deals, it just made a whole lot of sense, given the resources they had and their contacts and capabilities in the marketplace, that they were better off just buying rights to the whole thing and have us come on board in the company's leadership," he says.
In consideration for the global, irrevocable assignment of the rights, Metabolic Research issued 2.5 million shares of its common stock to Summers and Owen. Thereafter, the company went through a restructuring and, pursuant to a vote of the majority shareholders, Summers was installed as the new CEO and president and Owen installed in the financial positions he now holds.
"This is a major step for Metabolic Research. This agreement now puts the research and development power of the Metabolic Research team in full control of the biomedical technology [we] have worked on for years and enabling the company to retain all of the future profits it may gain from the launch of new drugs and treatments developed using this technology," Summers says. "With the total cost for the economy for arthritis estimated to be $128 billion and the estimated overall costs for cancer in at $210 billion, there is clearly a huge market for the types of drugs we hope to be bringing to market."
The company has also trademarked a new kind of nutraceutical product that it is calling BetaCeuticals—products built on the backbone of a beta glucan molecule.
"Glucan is a very necessary element for supporting the immune system, and we are developing an entirely new category around this," Owen says.
As a further strategic move, Metabolic Research in mid-May acquired the products, trade names, technologies, outstanding contracts, customers and proprietary software of IDZIN Inc., issuing nearly 10.7 million shares to IDZIN shareholders.
"The company produced a marketing software product and had good relationships with a wide range of multilevel marketing companies, and to us that smelled like opportunity because in addition to developing pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, we need to develop a system for selling the products as well," Owen says.