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DowpharmaSM Announces Multi-Product License Agreement with Merck


Pfēnex Expression Technology™ Enables Rapid Development of Protein Product Candidates

MIDLAND, MICH - February 22, 2007 - Dowpharma today announced that Merck & Co., Inc. has entered into a multi-product commercial license agreement for Pfēnex Expression Technology™, a Pseudomonas-based technology from Dowpharma.

The first product under the agreement is a proprietary protein vaccine component for which a high-yield production strain and a fully-scalable fermentation process were successfully developed in less than six months. The process was subsequently transferred to Merck and will be used to support its related future regulatory filings.

Under the agreement, which encompasses additional future protein products, Merck receives a non-exclusive license to use Pfēnex Expression Technology™ for the development and manufacture of proteins for use in human medicinal products.

“We’re pleased to be working with Merck and to contribute to their future protein production needs as part of this multi-product agreement,” said Nick Hyde, Global Business Director for DowpharmaSM. “Pfēnex Expression Technology™ consistently delivers high-quality protein faster than traditional expression systems.”

“Dowpharma and Pfēnex Expression Technology™ were selected because of Dow’s excellent record in rapidly developing and providing high-yielding Pfēnex Expression Technology strains, which can be expected to help reduce our development time for protein product candidates" says Dr. Wayne Herber, Senior Director, Fermentation and Cell Culture, Merck Research Laboratories.

About Pfēnex Expression Technology™

Pfēnex Expression Technology™, a Pseudomonas fluorescens-based fermentation technology, includes an extensive toolbox of gene expression capabilities and multiple host strains. Combined with high-throughput methods, strains producing high levels of active, complex recombinant proteins such as antibody derivatives and fully-functional antigens and adjuvant proteins are rapidly constructed and identified. The production process contains no animal derived products and no antibiotics or antibiotic selection markers, making scale-up safe, efficient, and highly cost effective.

Using a natural isolate of Pseudomonas fluorescens, an abundant and non-infectious component of the microbial flora of soil, water, and plants, many high performance production strains have been developed by Dow®. Proteins are expressed in high yields with correct disulfide bond formation, reduced protease levels and enhanced solubility, making the process faster, more efficient, and of higher quality than traditional bacterial expression. Dozens of host strains are tested in parallel to improve target protein accumulation and/or stability. The technology is easily employed in traditional fermentation, recovery and purification settings with no need for additional, unique equipment.

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About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of innovation, science and technology to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

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