HANFORD, California – March 30, 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 201.’ ‘SW 201’ exhibits unique features, including sweet taste with very little bitterness and aftertaste, and is designed to be utilized in the fresh and dry leaf stevia market. In addition to its taste attributes, ‘SW 201’ 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. This is S&W’s first patent granted for one of its unique stevia varieties.
Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company commented, “The receipt of this first stevia patent is a significant milestone for S&W. With few patented stevia varieties in the world today, we are creating what we consider to be a needed alternative in the marketplace, with a high-quality variety that exhibits exceptional taste characteristics and enhanced farming attributes. We look forward to working with stevia producers and companies utilizing stevia within their products in the U.S. and around the world to bring this new variety to the market.”
Danielson Gardner, chief marketing and technology officer of S&W Seed Company added, “Improved taste profiles will become more important in the future as whole leaf consumption of stevia continues to occur in certain markets. ‘SW 201’ has an exceptional leaf taste profile that is ideally suited to be sold as prepackaged leaves sold in grocery stores, or as potted plants for at-home use. Overall, the market for stevia continues to expand each year, and we believe S&W is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these evolving trends with differentiated varieties that can meet the needs of both consumers and producers into the future.”
The patent was issued on March 28, 2017, as U.S. Plant Patent PP27815. 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 201’ 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 201’, S&W has applied for patent protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO) for ‘SW 227’ for the fresh and dry leaf market, and has also applied for patent protection with the USPTO for two unique stevia varieties for the commercial processing market: ‘SW 107’ and ‘SW 129.’
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
Stevia variety ‘SW 107’ exhibits increased concentrations of Reb-A sweetener, higher leaf mass production and an improved taste profile that has little or no aftertaste. ‘SW 107’ has been bred to address commercial processing markets in North America, South America, and other regions of the world with suitable climates.
Stevia variety ‘SW 129’ has very sweet leaves with high levels of steviol glycosides, very low bitterness and aftertaste, 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 success of ‘SW 201’ in the fresh and dry leaf stevia market, the anticipated benefits of our intellectual property strategies, the value and effectiveness of our products, the demand for our products, our ability to successfully work with stevia producers and companies using stevia in their products to bring ‘SW 201’ to market, 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.