Synthetic Genomics Inc. Signs Collaborative Research and Development Agreement with Lung Biotechnology Inc., a Subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation, to Develop Humanized Pig Organs to Revolutionize Transplantation Field

Lung Biotechnology Also Makes $50M Equity Investment in SGI

LA JOLLA, CA and SILVER SPRING, MD (May 6, 2014) – Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), a privately held company developing and commercializing genomic driven advancements in a variety of industries, and Lung Biotechnology Inc., a subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR), today announced they have entered into a multi-year research and development agreement to develop humanized pig organs using synthetic genomic advances. The collaboration will focus upon developing organs for human patients in need of transplantation, with an initial focus on lung diseases. As part of the agreement SGI will receive royalties and milestone incentives from the development and commercialization of the organs.

SGI is also announcing a $50 million equity investment by Lung Biotechnology. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Lung Biotechnology and United Therapeutics to advance organ transplantation,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, SGI. “We believe that our proprietary synthetic genomic tools and technologies, coupled with United Therapeutics’ knowledge and advances in regenerative medicine technologies and treatment of lung diseases, should enable us to develop humanized pig organs for safe and effective transplant into humans. We believe this is one of the most exciting and important programs ever undertaken in modern medical science.”

Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics Chairman and CEO, added, “Our new collaboration with Synthetic Genomics is huge for accelerating our efforts to cure end-stage lung disease. Our combined expertise should enable us to develop an unlimited supply of transplantable organs, potentially helping millions of patients who die from end-stage organ disease.”

Using unique DNA design, DNA synthesis and genome editing, as well as genome modification tools, SGI will develop engineered primary pig cells with modified genomes. This work will entail modification of a substantial number of genes at an unprecedented scale and efficiency. United Therapeutics will leverage its xenotransplantation expertise to implant these engineered cells, generating pig embryos which develop and are born with humanized lungs. With the science and technology advances made by the SGI team in recent years, the companies are striving to develop these new methods and advances to create organs that are safe and effective for use in humans.

In the United States alone, about 400,000 people die annually from various forms of lung disease including cancer, but scarcely 2,000 people are saved with a lung transplant and only about 2,000 are added to the transplant wait list annually. Not even 1% of deaths due to lung failure can be avoided due to the gross shortage of transplantable human lungs. Previous attempts to rectify this shortage with animal organs have failed due to genomic incompatibilities, especially with respect to immune and coagulation systems. The collaboration between Synthetic Genomics and Lung Biotechnology aims to eliminate these genomic incompatibilities.

About Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI)

SGI is a privately-held company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address a wide range of global challenges. The company is focused on several key commercialization programs including: developing new synthetic DNA products and technologies through its subsidiary, SGI-DNA; algae biofuels and new and improved food and nutritional products through its subsidiary Genovia Bio; and synthetically-derived vaccine development through Synthetic Genomic Vaccines Inc. (SGVI), a business unit co-founded with the J. Craig Venter Institute. The company is also developing clean water technologies using microbial fuel cells and is developing sustainable agricultural products through AgraCast, a company co-founded with Plenus S.A. de C.V. For more information go to

About United Therapeutics

United Therapeutics Corporation is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of unique products to address the unmet medical needs of patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions. The company is developing several technologies to increase the availability of transplantable lungs for patients.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, among others, expectations regarding the outcome of the collaborative efforts among Lung Biotechnology, United Therapeutics and Synthetic Genomics, including the expectations regarding milestone and royalty payments, and the ability of these companies to successfully develop humanized pig organs that are safe and effective for transplantation. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as those described in United Therapeutics’ periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Consequently, such forward-looking statements are qualified by the cautionary statements, cautionary language and risk factors set forth in United Therapeutics’ periodic reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K. United Therapeutics claims the protection of the safe harbor contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for forward-looking statements. This information is being provided as of May 6, 2014, and neither United Therapeutics nor Synthetic Genomics assumes any obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.

Media Contact for SGI

Heather Kowalski

Media Contact for United Therapeutics

Andrew Fisher

Prepared Statement on the Supreme Court Human Gene Patent Ruling

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Synthetic Genomics Inc. and Founder and CEO, the J. Craig Venter Institute

“Today the United States Supreme Court ruled on the validity of BRAC1 and BRAC2 human gene patents stating that, ‘A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring,’ is consistent with our views on gene patents and is one we support. This ruling is good news for the biotech industry as it clarifies the rules and reduces uncertainty.

The field of genomics and specifically synthetic genomics holds great promise for exciting new knowledge to be gained and important products to be developed. In the case of synthetic genomic science and technology, it is clear that these advances are a direct result of human intervention and human construction of DNA. These man-made genetic constructs are already being used to create new vaccines, biofuels and nutritional products. And the ability to protect this intellectual property is a necessary component of a vital and robust science and biotechnology industry.”

Media Contact

Heather Kowalski, or 858-361-0466.

Synthetic Genomics, Inc. Launched to Develop New Approaches to Biological Energy

Initial applications to focus on ethanol and hydrogen production

ROCKVILLE, MD – June 29, 2005 – Synthetic Genomics, Inc., a new company that will develop and commercialize synthetic biology, was launched today. The Company will engineer modular “cassette” based systems to execute specific functions using reprogrammed cells as bio-factories. Synthetic Genomics, Inc.’s initial focus will be on ethanol and hydrogen production. After leveraging enormous archives of genomic sequence data, the Company will integrate novel processes to design, build, and test desired outputs from synthetic organisms.

According to J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Company, “Rapid advances in high throughput DNA sequencing and synthesis, as well as high performance computing and bioinformatics, now enable us to synthesize novel photosynthetic and metabolic pathways. Using diverse sets of genes, including those from over 300 fully-sequenced genomes, will allow our new company to develop synthetic organisms for specific industrial applications.”

A host cell that has reduced and reoriented metabolic needs can generate biological energy applicable to a broad range of industrial fields including energy, industrial organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, CO2 sequestration, fine chemicals, and environmental remediation. “We are in an era of rapid advances in science and are beginning the transition from being able to not only read genetic code, but are now moving to the early stages of being able to write code,” said Dr. Venter.

Founder and president Juan Enriquez added, “Harnessing the power of synthetic biology can lead to alternative energy sources that may have a significant impact on energy markets. We need to rapidly develop non-petrochemical, cleaner burning fuels.”

Synthetic Genomics, Inc. will collaborate with and sponsor research at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a non-profit institution with approximately 200 staff and scientists with expertise in genomics, microbiology, human and evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, high throughput DNA sequencing, environmental biology, information technology, biological energy research, and synthetic biology.

“Our sequencing of the first genomes, including the human genome, set the stage for this next great phase in understanding biology, which will ultimately enable us to pursue applications that will improve the environment and transform several industries,” said founder, co-chief scientific officer and Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, MD. “Our group of renowned synthetic biology researchers at the institute has already made significant advances, including the synthesis of the Phi-X174 bacteriophage genome.”

Drs. Venter and Smith have long been focused on the ethical issues surrounding synthetic biology. They, along with various institute and external researchers, initiated a comprehensive policy review with ethical and scientific leaders prior to conducting the first experiments. The Venter Institute also recently announced participation in a major new policy study that will explore the risks and benefits of synthetic genomics.

In addition to Dr. Venter and Mr. Enriquez, the other founders and management team at Synthetic Genomics include: Dr. Smith, executive vice president and co-chief scientific officer; and David Kiernan, MD, JD, executive vice president and general counsel.

About Synthetic Genomics Inc.

Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company founded in 2005, is dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global energy and environmental challenges. Advances in synthetic genomics present limitless applications in a variety of product areas including: energy, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company’s main research and business programs are focused on major bioenergy areas: designing advanced biofuels with superior properties compared to ethanol and biodiesel; harnessing photosynthetic organisms to produce value added products directly from sunlight and carbon dioxide; developing new biological solutions to increase production and/or recovery rates of subsurface hydrocarbons and developing high-yielding, more disease resistant and economic feedstocks. For more information, visit