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Mendel Biotechnology announces collaboration with BP on biofeedstocks

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Hayward, California
June 13, 2007

Mendel Biotechnology, Inc. ("Mendel") and BP have entered into a collaboration to develop biofeedstocks for the production of cellulosic biofuels. In addition to funding the five-year biofuels research program, BP will become a shareholder of Mendel with representation on Mendel's Board.

Working with BP, Mendel aims to be at the forefront of seed supply into the future energy grass seed market. Mendel has already established a breeding program for perennial grass variety improvement and will accelerate this program in collaboration with BP. Mendel will establish breeding stations in the Midwest and the Southeast United States, and accelerate breeding collaborations with groups in Germany and China.

As the biofuel industry matures, new biofeedstocks will be needed for the production of bio-derived molecules from the entire carbohydrate portion of the plant. To ensure a consistent supply of feedstocks to refineries, a new seed industry is needed to provide farmers with high-yielding varieties, and a new service industry is needed to ensure the delivery of feedstocks to the refineries.

"We are excited to collaborate with BP in the development of critical products for the biofuels value chain. While the new seed and biofeedstock business will serve the needs of all biofuel refineries, having a first committed collaborator is a critical starting point." said Neal Gutterson, Mendel's President and Chief Executive Officer. "BP has emerged as a leader in alternative energies, including biofuels. We cannot imagine a better party to collaborate with in developing our new business."

"Mendel has demonstrated its excellence in plant science," said Tony Meggs, Group Vice President of Technology at BP. "This collaboration with Mendel is one example of BP's commitment to the development of new technologies to enable the supply of new, renewable energy sources."

Founded in 1997, Mendel Biotechnology, Inc., a closely-held private company, has been a pioneer in the application of functional genomics to the study of plant genes. Mendel has identified and patented the use of genes that control many aspects of plant growth and development, and is using such inventions to develop or co-develop new plant varieties with improved productivity and quality. Mendel has relationships with leading agricultural, forestry and horticulture companies for the commercialization of improved seed and plant products, including Monsanto. Mendel is developing new seed products for the emerging bioenergy market, focused on seeds and feedstock products for the cellulosic ethanol industry.

 

 

 

 

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