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Metabolix Grants a Patent License to NatureWorks LLC for New Biopolymer Blends

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX), a bioscience company focused on bringing environmentally sustainable solutions to the plastics, chemicals and energy industries, today announced that it has granted a non-exclusive license to NatureWorks LLC for the U.S. patent No. 5,883,199, titled “Polylactic Acid-based Blends,” to make, use and sell blends of polylactic acid (PLA) with certain other polymers including polybutylene succinic polymers (PBS). The University of Massachusetts Lowell is the owner of the ‘199 patent, and Metabolix, Inc. is the exclusive licensee in the relevant field. NatureWorks and the biochemicals company BioAmber recently announced a joint venture which will support NatureWorks in bringing to market new performance Ingeo polymer compositions. 

“This research greatly expands the uses of PLA in biodegradable plastics because the blends allow for a stronger, more flexible form. The basis of my research is to improve the potential uses for PLA because it is made from renewable natural resources rather than oil, and is environmentally friendly,” said inventor and patent-holder Stephen McCarthy, a professor of plastics engineering at UMass Lowell and director of the university’s Bioplastics Research Center. The exclusive license agreement was negotiated on behalf of the university with Metabolix by UMass Lowell’s Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property.

“As a leader in the development of biobased polymer technology, we have assembled a broad intellectual property portfolio covering key elements of making and using advanced biomaterials, including biopolymer blends,” commented Richard P. Eno, President and CEO of Metabolix.  “For areas outside of our technical and commercial focus, we are amenable to licensing arrangements that provide Metabolix the opportunity for a financial participation and pave the way for the introduction of new materials to the marketplace.”

About NatureWorks LLC   

NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available, low-carbon footprint Ingeo biopolymers derived from 100 percent annual renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. In October 2011, Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, entered into an agreement to make a $150 million equity investment in NatureWorks. The transaction remains subject to regulatory clearances.  For more information on NatureWorks and Ingeo, visit   

About University of Massachusetts Lowell 

UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The campus offers its 15,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, liberal arts, management, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

About Metabolix

Founded in 1992, Metabolix, Inc. is an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on providing sustainable solutions for the world's needs for plastics, chemicals and energy. The Company is taking a systems approach, from gene to end product, integrating sophisticated biotechnology with advanced industrial practice. Metabolix is developing biobased industrial chemicals and plastics, as well as a proprietary platform technology for co-producing plastics, chemicals and energy, from crops. (MBLX-E) 

Metabolix:  Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release which are not strictly historical statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding future licensing opportunities, constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated and are detailed in Metabolix's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, which was filed on March 12, 2012. Metabolix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.


Steve Davies, (952) 562-3343,  

UMass Lowell 

Christine Gillette, (978) 934-2209,

Metabolix Media:  

Lynne H. Brum, (617) 682-4693,


Schwartz MSL Boston

Keith Giannini or Kirsten Swenson, (781) 684-0770,

Investor Relations Inquiries:

James R. Palczynski, ICR, (203) 682-8229,