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Posted 25 Sepetember 2006. PMN Crop News.


Bacillus subtilis Strain QST713, Active Ingredient in AgraQuest's Flagship Product Serenade(R), Receives Critical Approval by ECCU


EU's Approval Important Step in Serenade(R) Adoption


AgraQuest. www.agraquest.com


Davis, California (September 13, 2006) – AgraQuest, Inc. is pleased to announce that Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713, the active ingredient of its flagship biopesticide product Serenade®, was voted for inclusion into Annex 1 of Directive 91/414/EEC at the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health meeting on July 14, 2006.

 

Serenade® is currently registered on a provisional basis in France and Italy, where it is used commercially on grapes for botrytis bunch rot (Botrytis cinerea) control. Additionally, Serenade® is used in Italy to protect apple crops from scab (Venturia inaequalis) and fire blight (Erwinia amylovora). The formal publication of the EU Commission's decision is expected in late 2006 and will convert the provisional registrations in France and Italy to full registrations, provide the basis for Serenade® registrations in other EU member states, and promote widespread adoption. Serenade® is being developed in European and Mediterranean countries in partnership with Boyut Dis Ticaret Ltd. in Turkey; Intrachem-Bio in Italy, Germany and Austria; Nufarm in France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco; Staehler in Switzerland and Elanco-Hellas in Greece.

Based on a patented Bacillus subtilis strain (QST 713), Serenade® is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial natural product currently sold in over 20 countries. It is used against a wide range of diseases including black sigatoka, bunch rot, sour rot, powdery mildew, fire blight, white mold and bacterial spots in fruit, vegetables, and vine crops. Given its novel modes of action, Serenade® is utilized as a resistance management tool in programs with synthetic fungicides which are highly susceptible to resistance development. It is also ideally suited for integrated pest management programs, organic production and fruit and vegetable markets with requirements for reduced or zero-detectable synthetic pesticide residues on harvested commodities.

"The affirmative ECCU vote and formal approval for Annex 1 inclusion due to follow is a major milestone in the global regulatory strategy of AgraQuest," says Thierry Merckling, AgraQuest Business Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. "It recognizes that our products meet the highest regulatory and industry standards and is consistent with our commitment to develop and commercialize naturally inspired, science-based, crop protection technology. We see this decision as a critical step in the validation and introduction of biological-based crop protection options for European growers."

AgraQuest is a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing effective, safe and environmentally friendly natural pest management products for agricultural, institutional and home markets The company sells Serenade®, Serenade® Garden, Rhapsody®, Sonata® and Ballad® Biofungicides and Biotune® Adjuvant. AgraQuest received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the EPA for the discovery and commercialization of Serenade Biofungicide. In 2004, AgraQuest received a Red Herring Top 100 Private Company Award and the World Technology Award for the Environment. AgraQuest owns the Serenade® trademark, which is registered in the European Community and in numerous countries throughout the world, including the United States of America.

Certain matters contained in the press release concerning AgraQuest, Inc. are forward-looking statements which are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the receipt of EPA and other regulatory approval of the Company's products, the success of the Company's products in field trials and the timely development, manufacture and marketing and acceptance of the Company's products in the marketplace.