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Metabolix Purchases Biopol Assets From Monsanto

May 16, 2001
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:

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:

For further information, contact:

J. Barber
Metabolix, Inc.
(617) 492-0505

Lori Fisher
Monsanto Company
(314) 694-8535