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Minakem and LibraGen form Strategic Alliance in Biocatalysis and Fine Chemicals Production

Toulouse, France, November 2nd , 2005 - Minakem, a leading manufacturer of fine chemicals for pharmaceutical companies, and LibraGen, a bacterial diversity-based process and discovery specialist, have entered into a strategic partnership to give their customers access to a more comprehensive range of services and products. By jointly deploying their marketing and technical resources, the two companies will be able to deliver significantly more cost-effective services and products to customers in many projects where there are synergies between fine chemicals production and biocatalysis.

LibraGen will use its proprietary META-DNA(TM) technology platform and know-how in applied biocatalysis to generate new biosynthesis routes that will be transferred to Minakem's cGMP compliant facilities for manufacturing.

“We are pleased to establish this partnership with LibraGen and provide additional technology opportunities to our customers, giving them direct access to chiral biocatalysis and Green Chemistry,” said Pierre Charrier, Business Development Director at Minakem. “Minakem and LibraGen teams will together design innovative and efficient synthesis routes by combining LibraGen's unique skills in applied biocatalysis, and Minakem’s renowned expertise in chemical process development and FDA-approved chemical production facilities. The joint operation will allow a very rapid implementation of the best performing production solutions. These will provide an excellent response to our customers’ budgetary and timeline requirements.”

“This alliance will bring LibraGen additional openings for providing its services to the fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry,” said Dr. Renaud Nalin, Chief Executive Officer at LibraGen. “It is a great opportunity to provide pragmatic biocatalytic processes which, when combined with Minakem's chemistry and production capabilities, offer integrated solutions for the definition and the implementation of the best industrial production processes. We will deploy all the technology available on our biocatalysis platform in these joint projects. This includes enzyme discovery, optimization and applied biocatalysis. We are looking forward to extending our market share through this alliance.”

About LibraGen:
LibraGen, Toulouse, France, specializes in the development of bioprocesses for the production of healthcare molecules and the discovery of new chemical scaffolds with cross-industry applications. By focusing on untapped biodiversity, the company has developed a platform of proven proprietary technologies to identify, validate and produce high added-value enzymes and molecules for industrial, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic and environmental applications. The overall combination of LibraGen’s scientific and production know-how, technology platform and research results has already achieved a number of successful partnerships in research and production in the fields of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and fine chemistry.

About Minakem :
MINAKEM offers a wide experience in Process and Analytical Method Development of complex multi-step syntheses, high quality starting materials, intermediates and API's for the pharmaceutical industry under terms of total confidentiality. Committed to long-term relationships with its customers, MINAKEM offers the responsiveness, risk sharing, flexibility and cost effectiveness of a 'human-sized company' to each and every client on a personal level.
MINAKEM focuses on:
- Synthesis of Starting Materials for the fine chemical industry in dedicated facilities with cost-effective processes
- Custom Manufacturing of Key Intermediates for the pharmaceutical industry in a dedicated cGMP workshop (FDA inspected, cGMP compliant)
- Manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API's), by opportunity for niche API's (FDA inspected, cGMP compliant)

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