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Synthetic Genomics Inc. and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company Sign Exclusive, Multi-Year Agreement to Develop Next Generation Biofuels Using Photosynthetic Algae
Date:7/14/2009

LA JOLLA, Calif., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), a privately held company applying genomic-driven commercial solutions to address a variety of global challenges including energy and the environment, announced today a multi-year research and development agreement with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) to develop next generation biofuels using photosynthetic algae.

As part of the multi-faceted agreement, SGI will receive milestone payments for achievements in developing biofuel products. Total funding for SGI in research and development activities and milestone payments could amount to more than $300 million with the potential for additional income from licensing to third parties.

"This agreement between SGI and EMRE represents a comprehensive, long-term research and development exploration into the most efficient and cost effective organisms and methods to produce next generation algal biofuel," said J. Craig Venter, Founder and CEO of SGI. "We are confident that the combination of our respective expertise in science, research, engineering and scale-up should unlock the power of algae as biological energy producers in methods and scale not previously explored."

Photosynthetic algae, which include microalgae (single celled algae) and cyanobacteria (most commonly known as blue-green algae) are organisms that are very efficient at utilizing the energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into cellular oils (lipids) and even some types of long-chain hydrocarbons that can be further processed into fuels and chemicals. However, naturally-occurring algae do not carry out this process at the efficiencies or rates necessary for commercial-scale production of biofuels.

Using SGI's scientific expertise and proprietary tools and technologies in genomics, metagenomics, synthetic genomics, and genome engineering as a platform, SGI and
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SOURCE Synthetic Genomics Inc.
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