Yulex Corporation and USDA Partner to Increase Guayule Rubber Yields

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Yulex Corporation has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the United States Department of Agriculture,  Agricultural Research Service (USDA) to considerably increase the rubber latex yield of guayule, the worlds only commercial source of natural rubber latex that is safe for people with Type I latex allergy.

Scientists from Yulex and the USDA will create new guayule varieties by transforming existing high-yielding plant lines with rubber biosynthesis genes. Increasing the plants rubber latex yield will enhance Yulexs competitiveness within the medical device industry and further support the industrial rubber market.

We are pleased to continue combining our considerable resources on industrial biotechnology with the USDA, says Jeffrey Martin, CEO and president of Yulex Corporation. Guayules ability to produce industrial rubber will accelerate the growth of the U.S. natural rubber industry and can potentially ease Americas 100 percent dependence on imported natural rubber from Southeast Asia.

A desert plant, guayule is a promising, new industrial crop that requires less water than other industrial crops and has multiple economic uses making it attractive to farmers in the arid U.S. southwest. Applying cellulosic conversion technology, guayule biomass can provide alternative energy as an ethanol feedstock and bioadhesives for an extended range of non-toxic applications.

Yulex obtained an exclusive license on a technology developed by the USDA in 1997 to extract natural rubber latex from the guayule plant.  Since then, Yulex has emerged as the market innovator producing medical grade latex for medical and consumer products. Yulex is currently marketing its high-performing natural rubber latex material to medical device manufacturers internationally in order to provide needed alternative products for the 10 percent of healthcare workers, 73 percent of spina bifida children and 6 percent of the general population that suffer from Type I latex allergy.

Yulex Corporation is a materials science company producing a domestic source of natural rubber derived from the desert plant known as guayule.

Source: Yulex Corporation