The Hawaiian company has decided to discontinue its astaxanthin product destined for the animal feed market in order to focus on the human market due to its higher value.
Success of BioAstin in human market
According to the company recent marketing efforts concentrating on the cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and nutritional supplement markets have paid off.
"Our sales of BioAstin…have recently escalated. For example, in our third quarter ending December 31, 2007, we saw a 137 per cent increase in BioAstin revenues compared with the same quarter the previous year," said Cyanotech's founder and CEO Gerald Cysewski.
The company has a cost advantage in the human market due to its large product capacity, explained Cysewski, adding that in the animal market it is difficult for the natural astaxanthin to compete against the synthetic form.
BioAstin helps protect against UV damage
BioAstin is a natural astaxanthin product that the company harnesses from microalgae that grow in shallow ponds along Hawaii's coastline.
The microalga, haematacoccus pluvialis, produces the compound when water supplies in its natural habitat run dry to protect itself against the effects of UV radiation.
Cyanotech markets the product as an ingredient that may help protect the skin against UV radiation both through ingestion and topical application as well as promoting joint health, eye health and general immunity through nutritional supplementation.
FDA approved product structure/function claims
In fall 2007 the company successfully obtained four structure/function claims from the FDA that no doubt benefited its third quarter sales.
The move allowed the company to use the claim that the product supports skin structure during sun exposure.
Although structure and function claims are not as coveted as qualified health claims they can help a company's marketing efforts.
Commenting on the success in October 2007, company vice president for marketing and sales Bob Capelli said: "These claims, when allowed, are a fantastic way to help our customers market BioAstin. When they can refer on their labels and in their marketing literature to BioAstin's benefits through the use of these claims, they can educate the consumer as to the functional effectiveness of this wonderful product."