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BASF AG (BF) And Diversa Corporation (DVSA) Form Broad Alliance To Develop Innovative New Products



2/16/2006 10:33:49 AM

SAN DIEGO and LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diversa Corporation and BASF announced today that they have entered into a broad alliance that will leverage Diversa's leadership position in novel enzyme development and BASF's expertise in biotechnology, process development, product applications, and global marketing and distribution. Under the agreement, Diversa will be responsible for discovery and optimization of new enzymes, and BASF will be responsible for product and process development and all commercialization matters.

The new agreement is a significant expansion of the relationship between Diversa and BASF that began in 2001 with a collaborative agreement to develop biocatalysts. In 2003, under the original agreement, BASF licensed a proprietary enzyme from Diversa for the biocatalytic synthesis of a chiral pharmaceutical intermediate. The two companies will be focusing on improving industrial processes and product performance by combining BASF's application know how, chemical and biotechnology expertise and market knowledge with Diversa's enzyme discovery and optimization technologies.

"Diversa and BASF intend to leverage our combined expertise in biotechnology and chemistry aiming at system innovations for diverse industrial applications," said Dr. Alfred Hackenberger, BASF's President of Specialty Chemicals Research. "We look forward to addressing several exciting opportunities by developing better products to help our customers in several key markets like pulp and paper or fine chemicals to be more successful."

"Diversa has a well-established track record of applying powerful and patented enzyme discovery and optimization technologies to develop differentiated enzyme products. With this broad new agreement, Diversa will become a strategic partner in BASF's biotechnology activities and will apply these technologies to assist BASF in extending its well-deserved reputation as one of the industry leaders in the development of innovative bio-based products," stated Edward T. Shonsey, Diversa's Chief Executive Officer.

BASF has more than two decades of experience in the area of biotechnology. The company uses biocatalytic processes to produce a variety of products like vitamin B2, the amino acid lysine, and chiral intermediates (ChiPros(TM)) by means of living cell fermentation or enzyme catalysis. In 2005, BASF posted sales of around €400 million with products generated completely or partially using biotechnological processes. Expanding research activities within BASF's "Growth Cluster White Biotechnology" will be supported by investments of 150 million euros over the period 2006 to 2008.

About BASF

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF's intelligent solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2004, BASF had approximately 82,000 employees and posted sales of more than 37 billion euros. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

About Diversa

Diversa Corporation is a leader in applying proprietary genomic technologies for the rapid discovery and optimization of novel protein-based products. Diversa is directing its integrated portfolio of technologies to the discovery, evolution, and production of commercially valuable molecules with agricultural, chemical, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications. Diversa has established alliances and joint ventures with market leaders, such as BASF, Cargill Health and Food Technologies, DuPont Bio-Based Materials, Medarex, Merck, and Xoma. In addition, Diversa has formed a broad strategic relationship with Syngenta AG, a world-leading agribusiness company. Diversa has commercialized products both independently and in collaboration with strategic partners and licensees. Additional information is available at Diversa's website: www.diversa.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are "forward-looking" and involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty. These include statements related to the ability of the alliance between BASF and Diversa to produce system innovations or new products, all of which are prospective. Such statements are only predictions, and the actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include, but are not limited to, risks involved in general with the enzyme development process, risks involved with Diversa's new and uncertain technologies, Diversa's dependence on patents and proprietary rights, Diversa's protection and enforcement of its patents and proprietary rights, the timing and composition of funding under existing and future collaboration agreements, Diversa's dependence on BASF in connection with this agreement, BASF's ability to further develop any enzymes developed under this agreement (if BASF exercises its option to do so), Diversa's and BASF's ability to commercialize products, the time and resources needed to develop new products and obtain any necessary regulatory approvals, customer adoption of new products, and the development or availability of competitive products or technologies. Certain of these factors and others are more fully described in Diversa's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Diversa's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2005. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Diversa expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Note: ChiPros(TM) is a trademark of BASF. Contact at BASF: Contact at Diversa: Christian Boehme Martin Sabarsky Corporate Communications Corporate Development BASF AG Diversa Corporation Tel. +49-621-60-20130 Tel. +1-858-526-5166 Fax. +49-621-60-20548 Fax. +1-858-526-5666 e-mail: christian.boehme@basf.com e-mail: msabarsky@diversa.com

Diversa Corporation; BASF

CONTACT: Christian Boehme, Corporate Communications of BASF AG,+49-621-60-20130, or fax, +49-621-60-20548, christian.boehme@basf.com; orMartin Sabarsky, Corporate Development of Diversa Corporation,+1-858-526-5166, or fax, +1-858-526-5666, msabarsky@diversa.com


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