SAN DIEGO, July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Verenium Corporation (Nasdaq: VRNM), a leading industrial biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of high-performance enzymes, today announced that it has received regulatory authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to market its next-generation cellulase enzyme for non-food applications, including use as a biocatalyst to break down the guar-based gel used in hydraulic fracturing. This highly thermo-stable enzyme was developed by Verenium scientists using proprietary DirectEvolution® technology, and is designed to function under higher temperatures and extreme pH conditions, such as those in gas shales and deeper oil and gas wells.
"While our Pyrolase® cellulase product currently used for breaking guar during hydraulic fracturing is effective in fracturing jobs at temperatures under 180 degrees F, our work with the industry enabled us to define the characteristics of a more robust enzyme breaker. Our next-generation product has been tested in the labs of several oilfield services companies demonstrating that it functions well in more extreme temperature ranges and higher pH conditions," said James Levine, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Verenium estimates the addressable market in the U.S. for guar breakers in hydraulic fracturing is $250 million. Verenium's next-generation enzyme breaker represents an advancement in performance properties that the Company believes can expand the share of this market addressable by enzymes well beyond the current ten percent. The Company expects to launch this next-generation product in the second half of 2012.
"With this authorization, we have the opportunity to expand our current offering to the oilfield services industry and provide a hyper-thermostable enzyme that provides several important economic, operational and environmental advantages over the traditional chemical breakers currently used, both during the fracturing process and over the remaining operational life of the well," added Levine.
Upcoming Data Presentation
Verenium has co-authored a scientific paper based on research conducted with its high-performance enzyme for breaking cross-linked fracturing fluids under extreme downhole conditions. The findings, A Superior High-performance Enzyme for Breaking Borate Cross-linked Fracturing Fluids under Extreme Well Conditions, will be presented during the Fluids Optimization Technical Session in room 217A at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, between 8:30 and 11:55 am in San Antonio, Texas. For more information visit the SPE website at www.spe.org/atce/2012/pages/schedule/technical_program/wed_0830.php.
Verenium, an industrial biotechnology company, is a global leader in developing high-performance enzymes. Verenium's tailored enzymes are environmentally friendly, making products and processes greener and more cost-effective for industries, including the global food and fuel markets. Read more at www.verenium.com.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are "forward-looking" and involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty. These include, but are not limited to, statements related to Verenium's technology, products and product candidates, lines of business, operations, capabilities, commercialization activities, corporate partnerships, target markets, future financial performance, and near-term and longer-term growth and prospects. Such statements are only predictions, and actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to the differences include, but are not limited to, risks associated with Verenium's strategic focus, technologies, products and product candidates, dependence on patents and proprietary rights, protection and enforcement of its patents and proprietary rights, the commercial prospects of the industries in which Verenium operates and sells products, Verenium's dependence on manufacturing and/or license agreements, its ability to achieve milestones under existing and future collaboration agreements, the ability of Verenium and its partners to commercialize its technologies and products (including by obtaining any required regulatory approvals) using Verenium's technologies, the timing for launching any commercial products and projects, the ability of Verenium and its collaborators to market and sell any products that it or they commercialize, the development or availability of competitive products or technologies, the future ability of Verenium to enter into and/or maintain collaboration and joint venture agreements and licenses, and risks and other uncertainties more fully described in Verenium's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Verenium's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and any updates contained in its subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Verenium expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Manager, Corporate Communications
SOURCE Verenium Corporation