SAN DIEGO, California, June 21, 2000 Invitrogen Corporation (NASDAQ: IVGN) today announced that it has acquired Ethrog Biotechnologies, Ltd., a privately held company headquartered in Israel.
Ethrog has developed and patented a novel, fully enclosed system for the electrophoretic separation of macromolecules. Since 1996, Invitrogen has been a strategic marketing partner of Ethrog, selling the company's E-Gel™ products to academic and commercial research markets worldwide.
Ethrog maintains a strategic alliance with Fisher Scientific to distribute its products to the education market. Fisher Scientific has created a complete line of educational products for the 2000 school year and is focusing on secondary and college-level curriculums in the United States.
Invitrogen will issue 200,000 shares of its common stock for all of the capital stock of Ethrog in a transaction that is intended to be accounted for as a pooling of interests.
Invitrogen also announced that it has received US Patent Number 6,059,948 covering a system for pH neutral, stable polyacrylamide electrophoresis gels. This patent is another in a family of issued and pending patents assigned to Invitrogen that broaden its protection for a technology that has enabled the company to become a world market leader in pre-cast gels for protein separation.
The products made with this technology are called NuPAGE® gels. They are stable for a year compared with conventional products, which last only weeks. Researchers use millions of gels every year.
NuPAGE® is one of Invitrogen's fastest-growing product lines. The company expects the superior stability of these products to continue to attract the attention of researchers in the field of proteomics who are matching the proteins in cells to the genes being discovered through the Human Genome Project. Because these gels are so stable, researchers do not need to worry that the separation of their samples will change as the product ages, as they do with conventional gels.
"The combination of the Ethrog acquisition and the award of a new patent enhance the strong position in the pre-cast gel market we established when we acquired NOVEX in August 1999," said Lyle C. Turner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Invitrogen. "We can sell Ethrog's E-Gel™ product line through the same channels as the NOVEX product line, increase the flow of new products, and continue to leverage improvements to the technology acquired through NOVEX into other markets.
"The fusion of Ethrog's E-Gel™ technology and NOVEX's NuPAGE¨ technology will represent a new standard for protein separations," added Turner. "We are also looking at development of new high- throughput and high-density electrophoresis products."
Additionally, Turner said E-Gel™ technology is expected to serve as a unique delivery platform for several of Research Genetics' products. Invitrogen completed the acquisition of Research Genetics, Inc., a leading supplier of products and services for functional genomics and gene-based drug discovery research, in February.
Invitrogen develops, manufactures and markets research tools in kit form and provides other research products and services to corporate, academic and government entities. These research kits simplify and improve gene cloning, gene expression and gene analysis techniques and are used for genomics and gene-based drug discovery, among other molecular biology activities. Founded in 1987, Invitrogen is headquartered in San Diego, California and has operations in Huntsville, Alabama, Groningen, Netherlands, and Heidelberg, Germany.
For more information about Invitrogen, visit the Invitrogen Web site at www.invitrogen.com.
Certain statements contained in this press release are considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements relating to trends in growth, profitability, market position anddevelopment and increased flow of new products, leveraging technology, additional opportunities, creation of new standards and new delivery platforms and which are thus prospective. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, approval of the merger, successful combination of the operations of the two companies and previously-acquired companies, retention of key personnel, the ability to manage growth, successful development and commercialization of new products and services, continued identification, development and licensing of new technology, competition and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in Invitrogen Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.