In anticipation that the demand for CoQ10 will rise in the U.S., Osaka- based pharmaceutical company Kaneka Corp. has opened a Coenzyme Q10 plant in Pasadena, Calif., USA. Kaneka already has a plastics complex established in Pasadena, and the US$80 million CoQ10 plant has been established next to it. The company reportedly has hired nearly 70 employees to work in the plant.
Although the antioxidant is produced naturally in the body, levels of CoQ10 decrease in the body with age. Therefore, the antioxidant is often used in cosmetics and personal care as an antiaging ingredient and to increase energy. It is extracted from yeast and made into a orange crystalline powder.
Kaneka is reported to be the largest supplier of CoQ10 in the United States, and it has been estimated that annual CoQ10 sales in the United States will grow 30% to US$400 million by 2007. "Cosmetics is the largest market for CoQ10 in Japan, and we have a huge opportunity here," said Tom Schrier, national sales manager for Kaneka's CoQ10, in a press statement. "Now that we have additional capacity, we can support the growth in cosmetics in the US."
Although some believe it may be difficult to increase interest in CoQ10 in the United States, the Japanese company feels that it is very achievable. Currently, CoQ10 is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so no one can speak with certainty if the antioxidant is successful in improving the signs of aging.
The plant reportedly plans to produce nearly 220,000 pounds of CoQ10 a year, and they plan to increase production as the demand for the antioxidant rises.