Qteros and UMass Amherst Bolster Patent Portfolio for Ethanol-Producing Microbe With Issued and Allowed Patents in the United States and Japan

27 Jun, 2011, 08:00 ET from Qteros, Inc.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Qteros, Inc., the developer of a unique and highly efficient Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) platform for the lowest-cost production of cellulosic ethanol, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, today announced two significant intellectual property (IP) advances that extend the patent estate for their unique ethanol-producing microorganism, Clostridium phytofermentans, also known as the Q Microbe®.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued US Patent 7,943,363 B2 covering genetic constructs of Clostridium phytofermentans. This patent is significant as it provides intellectual property protection for genomic development and the use of gene combinations in Clostridium phytofermentans and other microorganisms to enhance an organism's innate ability to hydrolyze biomass and improve the efficiency and yield of ethanol produced by an organism.

In a second but related advance, the Japanese Patent and Trademark Office allowed a patent titled, "Systems and Methods for Producing Biofuels and Related Materials."  The patent describes the novel creation of products through the fermentation of biomass by Clostridium phytofermentans. Patent allowance in Japan represents significant progress towards the broad, global protection of Clostridium phytofermentans bioprocessing outside of the United States. A patent has already been issued for this technology in the U.S.

Both patents are based on the discovery of Clostridium phytofermentans by microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Qteros is the exclusive licensee of the patent.

John A. McCarthy, Jr., Qteros' President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Each of these key patent achievements expands and further bolsters Qteros' already strong IP portfolio and represents the latest successes in our proactive and aggressive intellectual property strategy. Combined with the broad protection enabled by Qteros' current patent estate, these patents reinforce the uniqueness and the potential of our biological platform and enable Qteros to achieve an important milestone as we and our partners rapidly progress towards commercialization of our platform to produce lowest cost cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale."

Qteros' CBP Platform: Enabling Lowest Cost Production of Cellulosic Ethanol

The uniqueness of Qteros' CBP platform is centered on the Company's proprietary microorganism, the Q Microbe® (Clostridium phytofermentans) - a naturally occurring "biorefinery" that produces virtually all enzymes required for biomass degradation into pentose and hexose sugars, while simultaneously co-fermenting all these sugars into ethanol as its natural metabolic end product. The organism's innate biological ability to produce ethanol from biomass enables Qteros to focus its development efforts on optimizing the organism's effectiveness for industrial-scale production. This highly streamlined engineering solution therefore results in significantly lower operating and capital costs of production for producers versus other competitive technology solutions. Moreover, the Q Microbe® is feedstock flexible, producing high yields of cellulosic ethanol from a broad range of non-food biomass materials, including, among others, sugarcane bagasse, corn stover and cobs, and a broad variety of energy crops.

About Qteros, Inc.

Qteros' mission is to accelerate the global commercialization of large-scale, lowest-cost cellulosic ethanol production. Qteros has teamed with a core group of world-class strategic partners that complement and leverage our advanced microbiology and process engineering expertise. Working closely with its strategic partners, Qteros expects to rapidly scale its highly efficient, lowest-cost Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) platform for converting non-food biomass into biofuels. Qteros is funded by leading investors in the alternative energy industry including, among others, Venrock Associates, Battery Ventures, BP AE Ventures, Soros Fund Management LLC, and Valero Energy Corporation. For more information, please visit www.qteros.com.

About The University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities. More than 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries attend the university. Home to New England's premier honors college, UMass Amherst has more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master's and 48 doctoral degree programs– many the top programs in the nation and world. The faculty, dedicated teachers and world-renowned, recently received a record breaking $170 million in sponsored research. The student body is the most academically competitive in its history, and participates in over 240 co-curricular organizations. A recent facilities renaissance includes new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation.

Susan Hager
VP Corporate Communications & Government Affairs
(508) 251-6339

SOURCE Qteros, Inc.