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News

BASF and the biotechnology company Diversa form broad alliance to develop innovative new products

BASF Aktiengesellschaft : 10 May, 2006  (New Product)
Diversa Corporation and BASF announced today that they have entered into a broad alliance that will leverage Diversa's leadership position in novel enzyme development and BASF's expertise in biotechnology, process development, product applications, and global marketing and distribution. Under the agreement, Diversa will be responsible for discovery and optimization of new enzymes, and BASF will be responsible for product and process development and all commercialization matters.
Diversa Corporation and BASF announced today that they have entered into a broad alliance that will leverage Diversa's leadership position in novel enzyme development and BASF's expertise in biotechnology, process development, product applications, and global marketing and distribution. Under the agreement, Diversa will be responsible for discovery and optimization of new enzymes, and BASF will be responsible for product and process development and all commercialization matters.

The new agreement is a significant expansion of the relationship between BASF and Diversa that began in 2001 with a collaborative agreement to develop biocatalysts. In 2003, under the original agreement, BASF licensed a proprietary enzyme from Diversa for the biocatalytic synthesis of a chiral pharmaceutical intermediate. The two companies will be focusing on improving industrial processes and product performance by combining BASF's application know how, chemical and biotechnology expertise and market knowledge with Diversa's enzyme discovery and optimization technologies.

'Diversa and BASF intend to leverage our combined expertise in biotechnology and chemistry aiming at system innovations for diverse industrial applications,' said Dr. Alfred Hackenberger, BASF's President of Specialty Chemicals Research. 'We look forward to addressing several exciting opportunities by developing better products to help our customers in several key markets like pulp and paper or fine chemicals to be more successful.'

'Diversa has a well-established track record of applying powerful and patented enzyme discovery and optimization technologies to develop differentiated enzyme products. With this broad new agreement, Diversa will become a strategic partner in BASF's biotechnology activities and will apply these technologies to assist BASF in extending its well-deserved reputation as one of the industry leaders in the development of innovative bio-based products,' stated Edward T. Shonsey, Diversa's Chief Executive Officer.

BASF has more than two decades of experience in the area of biotechnology. The company uses biocatalytic processes to produce a variety of products like vitamin B2, the amino acid lysine, and chiral intermediates by means of living cell fermentation or enzyme catalysis. In 2005, BASF posted sales of around 400 million with products generated completely or partially using biotechnological processes. Expanding research activities within BASF's 'Growth Cluster White Biotechnology' will be supported by investments of 150 million over the period 2006 to 2008.
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