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
firstname.lastname@example.org (314) 694-8535
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