SAN DIEGO and SOUTH BEND, Ind., June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diversa Corporation and Valley Research, inc. announced today the commercial launch of "Ultra-Thin" enzyme, a new product designed to significantly improve the efficiency and economics of ethanol production. Developed by Diversa and marketed under the "Ultra-Thin" label by Valley Research, this new product operates at high temperature and at a lower pH than other commercially available enzymes, which offers the potential for substantial cost savings.
"Ultra-Thin" enzyme is a novel, next-generation alpha amylase enzyme designed to offer ethanol producers superior liquefaction performance. It works in concert with other enzymes to efficiently convert the starch present in corn into sugars that can then be processed into ethanol or other value-added products such as high fructose corn sweetener. Ethanol producers have traditionally used other alpha amylase enzymes that operate at a sub-optimal pH, requiring costly process changes to adjust the pH of the production process. Because "Ultra-Thin" enzyme is capable of operating robustly at pH 4.5 -- the same pH of the production process -- it can help producers to lower their operating costs significantly. This enzyme has received FDA approval for use in ethanol and sweetener production as well as additional applications.
Under a multi-product agreement between the two companies, "Ultra-Thin" enzyme will be distributed by Valley Research exclusively in the U.S. and selected countries for fuel ethanol and sweetener applications. Diversa manufactures Ultra-Thin enzyme under its agreement with Fermic S.A. de C.V. Diversa and Valley Research are jointly pursuing additional development programs and marketing and distribution relationships for other Diversa enzyme products as well.
"The starch processing industry has been asking for a pH 4.5 alpha amylase enzyme for almost 30 years, and Diversa has successfully developed the first product to satisfy this unmet need," stated Art Sears, President of Valley Research. "We look forward to demonstrating the value of Ultra-Thin enzyme to ethanol producers and launching additional enzyme products with Diversa."
"The launch of Ultra-Thin enzyme is consistent with Diversa's record of developing differentiated enzyme products that significantly improve process performance and reduce operating costs," said William H. Baum, Diversa's Executive Vice President, Bioscience Products. "Valley Research has over 20 years of experience in the food and specialty enzyme business, and we're excited to leverage their marketing and distribution capabilities to bring innovative new products like Ultra-Thin enzyme to the bioethanol market."
According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the U.S. ethanol industry produced a record 3.41 billion gallons in 2004, representing a 21% increase from 2003 levels and more than double the amount produced in 2000. In addition to the 81 existing ethanol plants located in 20 states, at the end of
2004, 16 plants and 2 major expansions were under construction, representing an additional 750 million gallons of production capacity.
About Valley Research, inc.
Valley Research, headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, is a leader in innovative enzymes for both food and industrial applications. With a diverse product line and unmatched technical support, Valley Research has been a preferred, specialty enzyme supplier for more than 20 years. http://www.valleyenzymes.com/
Diversa Corporation is a leader in applying proprietary genomic technologies for the rapid discovery and optimization of novel protein-based products. Diversa is directing its integrated portfolio of technologies to the discovery, evolution, and production of commercially valuable molecules with agricultural, chemical, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications. Diversa has established alliances and joint ventures with market leaders, such as Bayer Animal Health, Cargill Health and Food Technologies, DuPont Bio-Based Materials, GlaxoSmithKline, Medarex, Merck, and Xoma. In addition, Diversa has formed a broad strategic relationship with Syngenta AG, a world-leading agribusiness company. Diversa has commercialized products both independently and in collaboration with strategic partners and licensees. Additional information is available at Diversa's website: http://www.diversa.com/.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are "forward-looking" and involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty. These include statements related to the cost savings, efficiencies, and production and other benefits that may be realized from the use of "Ultra-Thin," the ability and likelihood of Diversa's and Valley Research's successfully commercializing "Ultra-Thin," and Diversa's and Valley Research's ability to establish additional development programs and marketing and distribution relationships for other Diversa enzyme products and launch additional enzyme products together, all of which are prospective. Such statements are only predictions, and the actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include, but are not limited to, risks involved with Diversa's new and uncertain technologies, Diversa's dependence on patents and proprietary rights, Diversa's protection and enforcement of its patents and proprietary rights, Diversa's dependence on Valley Research in connection with "Ultra-Thin", including for commercialization of "Ultra-Thin," Diversa's ability to maintain its collaboration with Valley Research, Valley Research's ability to sell "Ultra-Thin" and/or other products developed under this relationship, Diversa's and Valley Research's ability to commercialize products, and the development or availability of competitive products or technologies. Certain of these factors and others are more fully described in Diversa's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Diversa's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2005. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Diversa expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Note: "Ultra-Thin" is a trademark of Valley Research, inc.