Metabolix Purchases Biopol Assets From Monsanto

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and ST. LOUIS, May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company
 and Metabolix, Inc. announced today that Metabolix has purchased Monsanto's
 Biopol assets to add to its current range of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
 products.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Metabolix will also
 license certain plant science technology applicable to PHAs from Monsanto.
     Biopol is a member of a family of environmentally friendly performance
 plastics made from renewable resources.  Commonly called PHAs, they can be
 processed into molded goods, fiber, and film, are biodegradable, and are
 useful in numerous applications.  PHAs can also be supplied as water-based
 latex products useful as water resistant coatings.  Metabolix is now producing
 PHAs by microbial conversion of natural sugars and oils, and is developing
 ways to produce them directly in plant crops.
     "Acquisition of the Biopol assets represents a useful addition to
 Metabolix's existing family of PHAs, and further expands our already
 significant product and patent portfolio," said Jim Barber, Metabolix's
 President and CEO.  "PHA polymers are a striking example of the ability of
 modern biotechnology to provide options that are more environmentally benign
 than current practice without compromising performance."
     "We are delighted to see Metabolix proceed with the commercialization of
 these exciting and promising materials," said Kerry Preete, Monsanto's Vice
 President, Global Product Management.  Monsanto withdrew from the Biopol
 market in 1998, after tightening its focus to agricultural applications of
 biotechnology, and away from industrial applications.  "Metabolix has
 demonstrated a strong ability to enhance and realize the tremendous potential
 of these materials."
     Metabolix is a development stage company using sophisticated biotechnology
 to produce environmentally friendly performance plastics and specialty
 chemicals from renewable resources.  It expects to launch its first products
 in 2001.  For more information on Metabolix, see: www.metabolix.com.
     Monsanto is a leading provider of technology-based solutions and
 agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.  For
 more information on Monsanto, see: www.monsanto.com.
 
      For further information, contact:
 
      J. Barber                          Lori Fisher
      Metabolix, Inc.                    Monsanto Company
      www.info@metabolix.com             (314) 694-8535
      (617) 492-0505
 
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SOURCE Metabolix

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