More Kiwi honey products to head to North America with new HoneyLab deal

The agreement covers the sale of a range of kanuka honey products.
The agreement covers the sale of a range of kanuka honey products. Photo credit: Getty

By Andrew McRae of RNZ

Health product company HoneyLab is to sell seven of its products in North America through a licensing agreement with American company Taro Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.

The agreement covers the sale of its kanuka honey products for the treatment of cold-sores, rosacea and acne, a bee venom-based cosmetic range and a product for joint and muscle pain.

Taro will be able to make and sell these licenced products in the US, Canada and Israel and they will be on shelves in stores sometime in 2021.

The terms are confidential, but HoneyLab chief executive Anthony Lawlor said the deal is worth tens of millions of dollars to his company.

He said the Bay of Plenty-based company has validated its business model of trialling natural products and then developing intellectual property.

''We've put all our capital that we have raised so far into completing product development and also a good, strong clinical research programme.''

''Our skill set is around developing ideas and applying research to those products.''

He said the company does not have a world-wide distribution network so it has identified companies that do.

''Companies that want to get into natural products but don't have the understanding or experience that a company like us does. So we present those partners overseas with a ready to go product that is proven and is ready for them to launch.''

HoneyLab has been in business for a decade and was founded by Dr Shaun Holt.

''It's been a 10-year overnight success,'' Lawlor said.

He said it is a real New Zealand value-added success story.

''We've taken a commodity product like kanuka honey, which sells for less than $100 a kilo and the end product on the shelves, albeit in grams, will be the equivalent of thousands of dollars a kilo, so it is really where NZ Inc needs to be.''

Anthony Lawlor said the company is embarking on a capital raising of $15m for research and development.