Yulex Completes Construction of Pilot Plant for Production of Guayule Latex

Natural Rubber Derived From Desert Shrub Guayule has Applications

in 300 Medical Devices

Jul 28, 2003, 01:00 ET from Yulex Corporation

    CARLSBAD, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Yulex, a specialty materials and
 chemical company (SM&C), focused on generating a renewable domestic source of
 natural rubber latex for medical devices and specialty consumer products,
 today announced the completion of the first commercial pilot plant for the
 production of Guayule natural rubber latex.  Yulex's proprietary Guayule
 (why-u-lee) latex formulations provide the only "natural solution" to the
 global need for a safe, cost-effective, yet high-performance latex for the
 manufacturing of critical medical products, according to Jeffrey A. Martin,
 president and chief executive officer of Yulex.
     Yulex's pilot plant, located in Maricopa, Arizona, has the capacity to
 process over 750 metric tons of biomass per annum.  In addition to the pilot
 facility, Yulex is operating a research and quality assurance laboratory on-
 site to support the manufacturing facility.  "Completing the pilot facility
 will provide commercial quantities of Guayule natural rubber latex for
 evaluation by Yulex's strategic partners in the medical device industry while
 providing process data to our engineers on the critical parameters necessary
 for scale-up to full production," Mr. Martin said.
     Guayule is a desert shrub indigenous to the southwestern United States and
 northern Mexico.  The species (Parthenium argentatum) is a new industrial crop
 and the only species other than the Brazilian rubber tree (Hevea
 brasiliansis), now grown predominantly in tropical Southeast Asia, which has
 been used for the production of natural rubber latex on a commercial scale.
 Guayule (domestic) latex is the only natural rubber alternative, which is
 commercially available, and the only source of natural rubber latex free of
 tropical proteins known to cause Type I latex allergy.  Mr. Martin added,
 "More than twenty million individuals in the United States developed varying
 sensitivities to tropical latex after the late 1980s when the use of latex
 barrier products (i.e., gloves, condoms, catheters, etc.)  increased
 exponentially as a result of the AIDS crisis."
     Yulex ( www.yulex.com ) is biobased SM&C Company focused on the production
 of a domestic source of natural rubber derived from the desert shrub known as
 Guayule.  Yulex has an exclusive license to a patented process to produce
 latex and products from Guayule in cooperation with the Agricultural Research
 Service of the U.S.D.A.  The Company, along with industrial strategic
 partners, is currently developing technology to extract other specialty
 chemicals and biofuels from the desert shrub.  Yulex, a privately-held
 company, was founded in 1997 and based in Carlsbad, California.
     For further information, please contact Jeffrey A. Martin, President and
 CEO of Yulex Corporation, +1-760-476-0320, jmartin@yulex.com .

SOURCE Yulex Corporation