Wacker Biochem Corporation and Kyowa Hakko USA Announce Cysteine Distribution Agreement

May 1, 2001

NEW YORK, New York - Wacker Biochem Corporation and Kyowa Hakko USA have formed an alliance to market and sell Wacker-produced Cysteine in the United States. Cysteine, one of the twenty amino acids found in living organisms, is used extensively in the pharmaceutical, food and flavor, pet food, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries. The US market is estimated to be in the range of 700 MT per year.

Wacker has developed a breakthrough fermentation technology for manufacturing Cysteine. Up to now Cysteine was extracted from ceratine, for instance, from human hair or from chicken feathers. The unique fermentation technology stands in line with other fermentation processes for amino acids such as lysine, threonine, tryptophan, etc. Based on its leading technology using dextrose as a major raw material, Wacker and Kyowa are expecting to gain a significant share of the US Cysteine market.

Kyowa Hakko USA, a leading manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical and nutritional ingredients, will serve as exclusive sales agent for Wacker's all natural Cysteine, which complements and enhances Kyowa's dominant position in amino acids in these markets.

In addition to amino acids, major Kyowa Hakko USA product lines include nucleic acids, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical and food ingredients, monomers, diols, synthetic acids, functional and other fine and industrial chemicals.

A world leader and pioneer in the development and application of fermentation technology for over half a century, Kyowa Hakko operates in more than 80 countries, through over 50 corporate facilities, subsidiaries, and affiliates around the globe.

Wacker Biochem Corporation is a 100% subsidiary of Wacker-Chemie, Germany. Wacker Biochem is a leading manufacturer of cyclodextrins, cyclodextrin derivatives and cyclodextrin complexes, including Retinol, and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are used in the cosmetic, food and nutraceutical industries.

Wacker-Chemie has nearly 17,600 employees at 27 production sites and over 100 sales offices worldwide. With annual sales of around EUR 3 billion, it ranks among the global leaders in its core businesses: polymers and specialty chemicals, silicones, materials (advanced ceramics), and hyperpure silicon for the semiconductor industry.

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