On the Street -- Mastix Expands

March 25/Biotech Law Weekly -- Mastix Medica LLC (Mastix) acquired the private label division of Koko's Confectionery & Novelty. The business, operating from a 28,000 square foot facility in Baltimore County, MD, currently manufactures tableted chewing gum and mints for contract and private label customers. Mastix, with an in-house product development team, specializes in developing custom formulations that incorporate nutritional supplements. Future plans will see Mastix expand into manufacturing and marketing its own healthcare products, including supplements and niche generic pharmaceuticals. In support of these growth plans, later this year, Mastix will begin implementing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as required to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.

"The scientific, clinical and regulatory gaps between functional foods, nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals are narrowing quickly," commented Robert Estey, CEO of Mastix. "The result is that consumers have more information and are becoming more knowledgeable about their healthcare product choices. They are now actively choosing how to manage their own wellness and that of their families. In this evolving marketplace, product differentiation will become an even more important requirement to having a protected, competitive and successful product. To meet these dynamic market needs, Mastix is focusing on developing products in emerging, underutilized dosage forms like orally disintegrating tablets and tableted chewing gum. Our directly compressible chewing gum tablets are an excellent delivery vehicle for nutritional supplements and, longer term, for pharmaceutical products," added Estey.

Koko's Confectionery & Novelty will now focus exclusively on that line of business. "We have acquired a number of premier licenses and can better allocate our developmental resources for our extensive line of everyday and seasonal novelty candies which is where our core competency lies," said Steven Kovens, executive vice president and a principal of Koko s Confectionery. "While our private label division is very strong, we realized that in order to provide those clients with the best services and products they would be better served by Mastix Medica as they can provide the nutritional supplements and unique product additives that are being demanded in today's marketplace. Koko's did not have that expertise," added Kovens.

From the March 30, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition