Martek and Ragasa sign multi-year exclusive supply agreement

DHA omega-3 innovator and maker of the life’sDHA brand, Martek Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ: MATK) and Ragasa, one of Mexico’s largest providers of raw and refined oil products and maker of Mexico’s leading consumer cooking oil brand, Nutrioli, announced March 26 they have entered into a long-term supply agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ragasa has agreed to purchase all of its DHA omega-3 needs from Martek and plans to launch a consumer product featuring Martek’s flagship product, life’sDHA, in 2009. Ragasa will display the life’sDHA logo on the product packaging, and will also include the life’sDHA logo in related marketing, advertising and promotional materials.

“Martek finds it rewarding to partner with Ragasa, a Mexican agribusiness leader, to make life’sDHA more readily available to Mexican consumers of all ages,” said David Abramson, Martek president.

“Martek’s life’sDHA is a trusted, vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA, an important nutrient for brain, eye and heart health throughout life,” said Alejandro García, Ragasa partner general manager.  “Ragasa is pleased to be working with Martek to bring this health-enhancing innovation to Mexican consumers.”

DHA omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in their diets. Scientific reviews highlight the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its importance in cardiovascular health. Clinical studies are underway to evaluate the role of DHA in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders. Leading experts around the world have noted that DHA is an important nutrient for health throughout the life cycle. Yet despite its importance, most consumers do not get enough DHA in their diets.

Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life’sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life’sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life’sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. It is also the only source of DHA used in U.S. infant formula and is included in more than 99 percent of all formulas on the U.S. market, as well as in more than 200 brands of infant formula, nutritional supplements and functional foods sold in over 75 countries worldwide. 

Ragasa is a leading Mexican agribusiness supplier for the food industry. Founded in 1917, Ragasa provides raw and refined oils for the food industry, as well as a number of finished oil products for consumers, including Nutrioli soybean oil, Oli vegetable oil, and Ave vegetable oil. Nutrioli is Mexico’s leading consumer cooking oil brand sold in supermarkets.

Martek Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ: MATK) is a leader in the innovation and development of
DHA omega-3 products that promote health and wellness through every stage of life. The company produces life’sDHA, a sustainable and vegetarian source of DHA omega-3, for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements, and life’sARA™ (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, for use in infant formula.

Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2008 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

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