MENDEL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND SWETREE TECHNOLOGIES EXTEND THEIR COLLABORATION

Umeå 2007-04-12

Joint News Release of Mendel Biotechnology, Inc. and SweTree Technologies AB

Mendel Biotechnology and SweTree Technologies extend their collaboration to jointly exploit the value of more than 100 genes in forestry.

STT and Mendel announced today that they will jointly exploit the value of over 100 selected transcription factor (TF) genes to be used within the $750 billion forestry field. The collaboration includes a research effort to validate Mendel TF genes for the forestry field as well as a commercial effort to advance identified products. ‘As an industry leader in applying pathway biology to improve performance of commercial plants, this extended collaboration is another important step for Mendel to commercialize our lead biomass and stress tolerance genes in the forestry field. We are very happy with the results from our first collaboration with SweTree which identified significant, beneficial traits in Poplar trees for the tested genes from Mendel.’ Neal Gutterson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mendel Biotechnology. ‘We anticipate that our carefully selected genes for the second step in our collaboration will provide additional valuable traits including improved wood quality and improved productivity.’

Mendel has demonstrated that many transcription factor genes improve growth rate and stress tolerance in commercial plants in the agriculture field. The parties have entered into this new, expanded collaboration to identify those genes that are effective in tree species and to commercialise the resulting varieties.

‘The results from our first collaboration step have been very encouraging both scientifically and commercially. The forest industry has already shown interest in certain genes from the project,’ said Mats Johnson, CEO of SweTree Technologies AB. ’We expect this second collaboration step to be of large importance for the commercial development of forest biotechnology.’

SweTree Technologies (STT) is a forest biotechnology company that develops new products for the forest industry and some of its larger customer groups. The company focuses on developing trees with higher survival rate, growth and wood quality as well as new technologies for fibre modification of cellulose. STT develops its own products and takes value shares in our collaboration partner’s and customer’s products where our technology is used. The company was founded in 1999 by a joint initiative between the Foundation of Technology Transfer (Innovationsbron) in Umeå and the company Woodheads AB, which now represents 45 senior academic researchers in the forest biotechnology field in Sweden. In 2002 the JC Kempe Foundations became owner and the main financial sponsor. In 2005 three large forest owners in Sweden, Sveaskog AB, Bergvik Skog AB and Holmen AB became additional owners. The company has its centre in Umeå, Sweden as well as offices and a research laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden.

 

Founded in 1997, Mendel Biotechnology, Inc. was a pioneer in the application of functional genomics to the study of plant genes. Mendel has functionally characterized essentially the complete complement of plant transcription factors using Arabidopsis thaliana. Mendel has important technology partnerships with Monsanto Company and other multi-national ag-products companies, for the development of products based on Mendel’s technologies. Mendel is now applying its technologies to the development of superior biofeedstock crops.

To find out more about Mendel Biotechnology, please see our internet web site at: http://www.mendelbio.com To find out more about SweTree Technologies, please see our internet web site at: http://www.swetree.com

Contacts:

 

SweTree Technologies ABMats Johnson, CEOTel: +46 705 165337e-mail: mats.johnson@swetree.com Mendel BiotechnologyNeal Gutterson, President & CEOTel: 510-264-0280e-mail: ngutterson@mendelbio.com