The Dow Chemical Company Announces Formation of Pfenex Inc., A New Independent Company That Will Enable Rapid, Cost Effective Production of Recombinant Proteins

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MIDLAND, Mich. & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Dow Chemical Company today announced that it has formed a new independent company that will be known as Pfenex Inc.1 through its Dow Venture Capital group. The new company, headquartered in San Diego, California, is based on human health applications of a Dow-developed technology called Pfenex Expression Technology™, a robust Pseudomonas fluorescens-based platform that uses high throughput, parallel processing methodologies for optimized protein production.

The action is consistent with Dow’s strategy of active portfolio management. Due to the long-term promise of the technology, Dow will hold a significant minority stake in Pfenex along with Signet Healthcare Partners, an experienced venture capital investor focused on the healthcare sector. Financial terms are not being disclosed

Pfenex is a biotechnology company specializing in strain engineering and protein production, helping to accelerate the development of new biopharmaceutical therapeutics and vaccines that address critical human health issues from infectious diseases to oncology. Using a high throughput parallel processing, robotically enabled approach based on the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, the platform produces high quality protein for discovery, research, development and commercial use.

“We are very pleased to help establish Pfenex as an independent company that will accelerate further development of this valuable technology and help bring solutions to human health needs,” said Heinz Haller, Dow executive vice president, Performance Systems. “As we are actively managing Dow’s business portfolio, we also are maximizing value by applying the experience of Dow Venture Capital and its model for growing companies with novel and game-changing technologies that have the potential for significant equity value.”

Dow’s contribution to Pfenex includes Pfenex Expression Technology™ for human health applications, protein production assets, customer contracts and lists, process technology, trademarks, certain intellectual property, and approximately 20 experienced employees.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Signet Healthcare Partners in forming this new company,” said Ken Van Heel, global director, Dow Venture Capital. “Dow has invested in this business over the past five years to the point that the team, technology and initial commercial success provide the basis for an independent company with the potential for significant growth in this new independent business model.”

“We are excited about Pfenex Expression Technology and the value of its protein expression system in surmounting barriers and shortening timelines in drug development,” said James Gale, managing director of Signet Healthcare Partners. “We are honored to be a partner of Dow in this transaction which we believe will enhance value for all Pfenex stakeholders.”

About Dow

Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in approximately 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. In 2008, Dow had annual sales of $57.4 billion and employed approximately 46,000 people worldwide. The Company has 150 manufacturing sites in 35 countries and produces approximately 3,300 products. On April 1, 2009, Dow acquired Rohm and Haas Company, a global specialty materials company with sales of $10 billion in 2008, 98 manufacturing sites in 30 countries and approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

About Dow Venture Capital

Dow Venture Capital invests in promising start-up companies in North America, Europe and Asia, supporting its portfolio with capital, technology, and a global network of potential development partners. Dow Venture Capital is active in sustaining these companies throughout their early critical years, from seed to later stage investment. Global locations are at The Dow Chemical Company headquarters in Midland, Michigan, U.S.A. as well as Dow locations in Zurich, Switzerland and Gotemba, Japan.

About Signet Healthcare Partners

Signet Healthcare partners was founded in 1998 and has a team that brings over 100 years of collective experience in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, private equity and investment banking businesses. Signet Healthcare has maintained its dedicated focus to diversified healthcare investing – primarily serving as lead investor to expansion stage companies engaged in specialty pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biopharmaceutical services.

Note: The forward-looking statements contained in this document involve risks and uncertainties that may affect Dow's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic, competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Accordingly, there is no assurance that Dow’s expectations will be realized. Dow assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.

1Pronounced fe-niks

™Trademark of Pfenex Inc.


Bob Plishka The Dow Chemical Company +1 989 638 2288 or Patrick Lucy Pfenex Inc. + 1 978 887 4971 or Al Hansen Signet Healthcare Partners + 1 212 419 3920

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