HoneyLab, a New Zealand-based and operated pharmaceutical company, has today announced that it has successfully raised the capital required to fund further clinical trials on several promising products for conditions including skin diseases, diabetes, emphysema and arthritis. In addition, it has added expertise to its management by appointing to its Board the Chair of both Wakatu Incorporation and KONO NZ LP, Paul Morgan, ex-CEO of L-Oreal NZ, Frances Stead, and ex-Fonterra and Ernst & Young supply chain expert Alan Barrett.

HoneyLab are a research-based pharmaceutical company specialising in treatments based on bee products and their surroundings. More than 10 clinical trials have been completed so far, and several more have been commissioned to be undertaken by expert clinical researchers in New Zealand. Larger studies have been commissioned for products that have been shown to be effective and safe in the first phase of clinical testing, and around 10 more products are about to enter the first phase of testing.

Medical Director and co-founder Professor Shaun Holt said that he was confident that HoneyLab would soon have the highest level of proof that their products were effective, enabling them to be registered as medicines with agencies such as MedSafe in NZ and the FDA in USA. He said that ….”skin conditions such as acne, facial redness and lip lesions are billion dollar markets, and our results suggest that we could have products that are more effective than those that are currently available. And when you add in the fact that the products are natural and sustainably produced, we have products that patients are going to demand and doctors will want to recommend and prescribe”.

Investors include the Ngati Rarua Atiawa Iwi Trust (NRAIT) and GlobalHort, which has strong sales representation and distribution throughout China. Commercial expertise has been added with the appointment as Board Chairman of Paul Morgan, who said that he was attracted to HoneyLab because of the strength of the science, the ability to generate very high value products and the potential to generate wealth in Maori communities. “We are working with Maori landowners and telling them that the kanuka on their land is not waste but is valuable as it can be a source of kanuka honey and bee venom”, he said.

Frances Stead jumped at the chance to join the board when she heard about the scientific testing that had been undertaken on HoneyLab’s anti-ageing topical bee venom product. “I came on board because I believe HoneyLab has a unique position in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic space, it has exciting natural products with real science behind them” she said.

Professor Holt said that whilst other companies in NZ focussed on selling the more famous manuka honey to be eaten, HoneyLab believed that the highest value came from developing bee products into pharmaceuticals. He has helped some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies develop new medicines and added that ….”effective medications are getting harder and harder to find and they can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the company that invests in the research required to prove they work. GlaxoSmithKline started out selling milk products near Palmerston North and we are aiming to emulate their success”.