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Modular Genetics Issued Notice of Allowance for Patent Application Covering its First Green Surfactant
Monday, March 28, 2011
Woburn, MA -- Modular Genetics, Inc. (Modular) is a sustainable chemistry company utilizing advanced technology in synthetic biology to produce specialty chemicals that are cost competitive, provide superior performance and are environmentally friendly. Modular’s lead product is a “green” surfactant initially targeting the personal care market.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance allowing patent claims that protect Modular’s “green” surfactant, a myristoyl glutamate. Independent testing by Columbia University has demonstrated Modular’s surfactant is ten-fold more effective at reducing surface tension and three times more water soluble than the leading marketed product; two important qualities for a superior, cost competitive cleansing product.
According to Kevin Jarrell, Modular’s CEO and co-founder, “The Company’s strategy is to invent, develop and commercialize high value specialty chemicals that are patent protected. The same core proprietary technology is being used to generate a family of patented “green surfactants”. Modular’s surfactants will be used in products as diverse as shampoos and paints and coatings.” Modular is in partnering discussions with leading chemical companies to commercialize these surfactants.
Dr. Fangli Chen, partner in the Intellectual Property Department at Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP confirms that this allowed patent provides excellent protection for Modular’s product, and solidifies its position as a leader in the green chemicals marketplace. Dr. Chen offers that “The allowed composition claims will provide strong protection for Modular’s unique product and create effective barriers to competitors in the surfactant market.”
Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental Section, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), offers this perspective: "Biotechnology companies in the green chemistry space historically focused on fuels and green plastics followed by a shift to commodity chemicals. Today, there is a new emphasis on specialty chemicals because of the higher margins these products command, combined with the opportunity to create value by securing patent protection for the end chemical products themselves. The demonstrated ability of "synthetic biology" companies to commercialize patented specialty chemicals should provide confidence to investors and attract further investment to this sector of the Cleantech economy. " In addition, McKinsey Consulting estimates that 50,000 organic chemicals produced from petroleum can be made from renewable feedstocks, over a $1 trillion market.
Modular (www.modulargenetics.com) is applying its proprietary advanced technology in synthetic biology to produce products that are cost competitive, provide superior performance and are environmentally friendly. Based in Woburn, MA, Modular is a privately-held company whose investors include Monsanto, Harvard College and Boston University.
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