For Immediate Release
HANFORD, California – May 1, 2017
S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted S&W a patent covering its unique stevia plant variety ‘SW 107.’ SW 107 exhibits 40% higher leaf mass and 60% more Reb-A content compared to the comparison samples of currently available varieties. SW107 has been bred to address commercial processing markets in North America, South America, and other regions of the world where stevia is produced. This is S&W’s second patent granted for its unique stevia varieties.
Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company commented, “The progress being made by our breeders should help address the market expansion of products being developed. However, improved stevia varieties are needed to meet the production demands around the world. There are currently a limited number of unique stevia varietals grown, most of which have poor yields and unattractive taste profiles. S&W’s mission in this regard is to develop unique varieties that exhibit improved taste profiles, coupled with improved yield and Reb-A content, to drive an even more rapid global adoption of this all-natural, zero calorie sweetener. We believe that SW 107 will be well received.”
Danielson Gardner, chief marketing and technology officer of S&W Seed Company added, “SW 107 exhibits higher leaf mass and Reb-A content, which should give growers and processors increased efficiencies and higher profitability. Companies producing consumer food products, as well as ingredient manufacturers, recognize the value of stevia as an all-natural sweetener in beverage, dairy, baking and snack products. S&W’s R&D efforts over the last number of years to develop varieties to meet needs in the market are beginning to come to fruition.”
The patent was issued on April 25, 2017, as U.S. Plant Patent PP27,937. The term of an issued plant patent is the same as that of an issued utility patent, which is 20 years from the patent’s filing date. Based on the filing date, the patent for SW 107 will expire on April 29, 2035.
About S&W’s Unique Stevia Varieties
S&W’s stevia focus is on developing varieties with unique, enhanced characteristics, providing added value along the entire supply chain. In addition to the receipt of patent protection for ‘SW 107’, S&W has been granted a patent for ‘SW 201’ and applied for patent protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for ‘SW 227’ for the fresh and dry leaf market, and ‘SW 129’ for the commercial processing market.
Fresh and Dry Leaf Market
Stevia variety ‘SW 201’ for the fresh and dry leaf market not only has a sweet taste with very little bitterness and aftertaste, but exhibited more Reb-A, less stevioside, more total steviol glycosides, a higher Reb-A to stevioside ratio, and a higher percentage of Reb-A to total steviol glycosides compared to the comparison samples from common varieties.
Stevia variety ‘SW 227’ has an excellent, sweet leaf taste with very low bitterness and aftertaste, late flowering, high plant vigor characterized by extensive stooling and branching, enhanced dry leaf yields and leaves having an average rebaudioside A content of 10.7%.
Commercial Processing Market
As noted above, stevia variety ‘SW 107’ exhibits increased concentrations of Reb-A sweetener and higher leaf mass production. ‘SW 107’ has been bred to address commercial processing markets in North America, South America, and other regions of the world that have climates suitable for it.
Stevia variety ‘SW 129’ has very sweet leaves with high levels of steviol glycosides, excellent overwintering 20F, (-7C), high plant vigor, high leaf yield and is late flowering. ‘SW 129’ is ideally suited for commercial level stevia extraction due to these enhanced characteristics.
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural Company, headquartered in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The Company’s vision is to be the world’s preferred proprietary seed Company which supplies a range of forage and specialty crop products that supports the growing global demand for animal proteins and healthier consumer diets. The Company is a global leader in alfalfa seed, with significant research and development, production and distribution capabilities. S&W’s capabilities span the world’s alfalfa seed production regions, with operations in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys of California, five other U.S. states, Australia, and three provinces in Canada, and S&W sells its seed products in more than 30 countries around the globe. Additionally, the Company is utilizing its research and breeding expertise to develop and produce stevia, the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener for the food and beverage industry. For more information, please visit www.swseedco.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may,” “future,” “plan” or “planned,” “will” or “should,” “expected,” “anticipates,” “draft,” “eventually” or “projected.” Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the need for improved stevia varieties, global adoption of stevia, SW 107’s ability to increase efficiency and profitability of growers and processors, the anticipated benefits of our growing and cultivation strategies, the value and effectiveness of our products, the demand for our products, and our general commercialization strategies and the ability to execute those strategies. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and other risks identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, and in other filings subsequently made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of the receipt of new information, the occurrence of future events or otherwise.