Avoca Signs Supply Agreement with Synthetic Genomics Inc to Become Domestic Source of Natural Astaxanthin

Kearny, NJ & La Jolla, CA – June 20, 2014 – Avoca, Inc., a division of Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., has formed a supply agreement with Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a privately held company developing and commercializing genomic driven solutions and products in a variety of industries, to extract and commercialize natural astaxanthin from a strain of algae developed by SGI. The multi-year supply agreement also provides Avoca with exclusivity for product sales in North America. Pharmachem Laboratories will be responsible for marketing and sales. SGI is developing this product through their Genovia Bio business unit, which is responsible for the development and commercialization of algal-based food, chemical and fuel products. Financial details were not disclosed.

According to David Peele, President of Avoca, “This agreement will make us one of just a handful of vertically integrated, domestic producers of astaxanthin, with SGI providing sufficient algae biomass to ensure our customers of a consistent supply from U.S. sources,” said Peele. “Using their proprietary technology, SGI has developed algae with a higher level of astaxanthin, and as a result, we can provide 7.5% astaxanthin oleoresin with the concentration increasing over time as the algae strain and production technology is improved.”

“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with Avoca,” said Jon Getzinger, Sr. Vice President, SGI. “Our ability to develop advantaged nutraceutical and human and animal feed ingredients coupled with Avoca’s ability to process and market those products, makes this an ideal agreement for both companies. Commercialization of astaxanthin with Avoca demonstrates how we can supply important high quality, natural ingredients to the market using our algae technology,” said Getzinger.

Natural astaxanthin is a supplement with multiple clinically-proven health benefits associated with its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Natural astaxanthin is very difficult to produce and therefore is supply constrained relative to demand. SGI has developed a process for production of natural astaxanthin from a phototrophic source and demonstrated commercial-scale manufacturing capability and performance over 18 months. SGI’s natural astaxanthin has U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory approval for dietary supplement applications.

“We looked at several companies to partner with on this important ingredient,” said Jim Flatt, President of SGI’s Genovia Bio. “Avoca is the strong partner we sought who was capable of both processing high quality oil and delivering the product to the market through Pharmachem’s professional sales and marketing organization. Genovia Bio has rapidly developed two commercially-ready products, one each from heterotrophic (sugar-utilizing) and phototrophic (light-utilizing) algae, which distinguishes Genovia Bio in this field. It’s exciting to see the pipeline of products emerging from our investment in algae product technology.”

About Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI)

SGI is a privately-held company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address a wide range of global challenges. The company is focused on several key commercialization programs including: developing new synthetic DNA products and technologies through its subsidiary, SGI-DNA; algae biofuels and new and improved food and nutritional products through its subsidiary Genovia Bio; and synthetically-derived vaccine development through Synthetic Genomic Vaccines Inc. (SGVI), a business unit co-founded with the J. Craig Venter Institute. The company is also developing clean water technologies using microbial fuel cells and is developing sustainable agricultural products through AgraCast, a company co-founded with Plenus S.A. de C.V. For more information go to www.syntheticgenomics.com.

About Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc.

Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., Kearny, NJ, is a family of companies specializing in the manufacture and supply of a wide variety of custom and specialty nutritional ingredients, as well as process services. The company is a NOP-Certified organic handler and processor, operating 16 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. It is also (c)GMP compliant, producing a variety of ingredients and ingredient systems under strict quality control. For further information call 800-526-0609, 201-246-1000 (outside the U.S.) or visit www.pharmachemlabs.com.

Media Contact for SGI

Heather Kowalski

Jon Getzinger

Media Contact for Avoca

Tom McCartney