Yulex Raises $2.0 Million in Series B Round of Financing

Natural Rubber Derived From Guayule Shrub Has Potential Use in 300 Medical


Feb 24, 2003, 00:00 ET from Yulex Corporation

    CARLSBAD, Calif., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Yulex, a specialty materials and
 chemical company focused on generating a domestic source of natural rubber
 latex for medical devices and specialty consumer products, today announced
 that it has received $2.0 million in a series B round of financing from
 Argonaut Private Equity.  Yulex's proprietary Guayule (why-you-lee) compound
 formulations provide the first natural rubber solution to the urgent global
 need for a safe, cost-effective, and high performance latex for critical
 medical products, according to Jeffrey Martin, president and chief executive
 officer of Yulex.
     "With over 300 medical applications, there is a large market in the
 medical device industry for Guayule natural rubber latex, which can be used in
 medical gloves, condoms and catheters, as well as natural chewing gum bases
 for drug delivery systems," Mr. Martin said.  "Securing this round of funding
 will facilitate the agricultural expansion of Guayule in California, Arizona,
 New Mexico and Texas while completing the construction of a commercial pilot
 plant to manufacture Guayule natural rubber latex by mid-year."
     Guayule is a desert shrub indigenous to the southwest United States and
 northern Mexico.  The species (Parthenium argentatum) is a new industrial crop
 and the only species other than Hevea (the Brazilian rubber tree, Hevea
 brasiliensis) that has been used for latex production on a commercial scale.
 It is the only natural rubber latex alternative, which is commercially
 available, and the only source of natural rubber latex that is free of
 tropical proteins known to cause Type I latex allergy.
     "Guayule natural rubber latex is superior to most synthetic materials and
 represents the best alternative to tropical latex currently used in medical
 products and other applications," Mr. Martin added.  "More than 20 million
 individuals developed sensitivities to tropical latex in the 1980s, when the
 demand for latex medical gloves increased.  We will initially manufacture
 Guayule natural rubber latex for medical device manufacturers and also will
 concentrate on the continued development of co-products derived from the
 guayule plant."
     Yulex ( www.yulex.com ) is a biobased specialty materials and chemicals
 company focused on the manufacturing of natural rubber latex derived from the
 domestic desert shrub known as Guayule.  Yulex has the exclusive license to a
 patented process to produce latex and products from Guayule, in cooperation
 with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA.  The Guayule
 bioprocessing technology includes methods for latex extraction and
 purification.  Yulex is currently pursuing corporate partnerships and is
 seeking customers for medical, industrial, and consumer applications.  Yulex,
 a privately held company, was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in
 Carlsbad, California.
     For further information, please contact:  Jeffrey Martin, President and
 CEO of Yulex Corporation, +1-760-730-7585, jmartin@yulex.com; or media, Linda
 Seaton, ext. 1333, lcs@mentusonline.com, or Navjot Rai, ext. 106,
 nrai@mentusonline.com, both of Mentus, +1-858-455-5500, for Yulex Corporation.

SOURCE Yulex Corporation