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New DHA/ARA patent enhances Formulaid position; Martek's Formulaid certified kosher.

COLUMBIA, Md.--(HealthWire)--Aug. 28, 1996--Martek Biosciences Corp. (Nasdaq: MATK) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number 5,374,657 on Aug. 26, making clear that Martek's patent coverage includes the blending, in infant formula and nutritional supplements, of microbially-derived arachidonic acid (ARA) oil with low eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) fish oils.

Fish oil is a potential competitive source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to Martek's algae-derived DHA oil. DHA and ARA are two primary components of Martek's proprietary infant formula ingredient, Formulaid(R). This patent will make it more difficult for low-EPA fish oils to be combined with microbial sources of ARA oils without violating Martek's patent position.

The company also announced today that Formulaid and its component ingredients have been certified kosher by one of the most recognized certifying organizations, the Orthodox Union Kashruth Division. This certification plays an important role in the decision-making of many consumers worldwide. Martek believes it currently produces the only DHA and ARA in the world which meet kosher manufacturing requirements.

"The issuance of the latest patent adds important protection for the company's pursuits in infant nutrition as it covers a wide range of ARA and DHA blends including those recognized as desirable by leading experts in the field. In addition, the kosher certification is an important step in broadening the market acceptability of Formulaid throughout the world. Certain infant formula and other food manufacturers as well as a significant number of consumers look for this certification before purchasing products," said Henry Linsert Jr., Martek's chairman and CEO.

DHA and ARA are the predominant structural fatty acids in the grey matter of the brain and DHA is particularly enriched in the retina. DHA is essential for brain and eye development. Children and adults obtain DHA primarily from their diets since humans synthesize only small amounts of DHA. Infants acquire DHA and ARA initially in utero during pregnancy, and then from their diet via their mother's milk. Most infant formulas, however, do not contain DHA and ARA. Formulaid enables infant formula manufacturers to include DHA and ARA in infant formula in ratios and composition similar to that found in human milk.

Martek Biosciences Corp. is engaged in the research, development and manufacturing of nutritional supplements, drug design tools, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. The company's strategy is to access the vast, but largely untapped microalgal kingdom to create a broad portfolio of high-value products that uniquely satisfy unmet nutritional and health needs.

CONTACT: Martek Biosciences Corp., Columbia

Steve Dubin, CFO

Stephanie Diaz, Controller

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 28, 1996
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