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Berkeley Lights and Vestaron Announce Partnership to Develop Pesticidal Peptides Utilizing Proprietary High-Throughput, Functional Screening Service

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Berkeley Lights, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLI), a leader in digital cell biology, and Vestaron Corporation, the leader in peptide-based crop protection, announced a strategic partnership to advance the development of pesticidal peptides as Active Ingredients (AIs) to improve the safety and efficacy of crop protection solutions for the global food supply.

In this partnership, Vestaron will use Berkeley Lights' propriety high-throughput, functional screening service to optimize the development of novel AIs with pesticidal properties that target proven receptors. These AIs are pesticidal peptides with high safety profiles, practically nontoxic to fish, mammals, pollinators, and the environment. Vestaron’s AIs continue to empower growers with novel, effective chemistries that overcome existing resistance issues.

“Vestaron is leading a revolution in crop protection by marrying the efficacy of synthetics with the safety and sustainability of biologicals,” said Anna Rath, chief executive officer of Vestaron. “Berkeley Lights is a key partner to help us advance this effort. Together, we will accelerate the complex research and development required through high-throughput, functional screening of new pesticidal peptides. Ultimately, this will improve the safety, quality, and sustainability of our global food supply, in part by fulfilling one of the core Vestaron missions of providing a portfolio of solutions that resolve the resistance challenges growers throughout the world face today.”

“We are pleased to be working with Vestaron and leveraging our high-throughput, functional services and Berkeley Lights platform to enable new discoveries for crop protection,” said Siddhartha Kadia, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Berkeley Lights. “This marks our third partnership agreement in the agriculture space in less than a year and demonstrates the furthering of our partnership strategy. Our proprietary approach to high-throughput, functional screening is applicable to a variety of sectors and applications even beyond agriculture, including antibody, therapeutic protein, and enzyme engineering for pharmaceutical, life science, and industrial products.”

Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed. This is Berkeley Lights’ third announced high-throughput, functional screening partnership in the agriculture sector following the recent Aanika Biosciences agreement and the Bayer Partnership in August 2021.

About Berkeley Lights

Berkeley Lights is a leading digital cell biology company focused on enabling and accelerating the rapid development and commercialization of biotherapeutics and other cell-based products for our customers. The Berkeley Lights Platform captures deep phenotypic, functional and genotypic information for thousands of single cells in parallel and can also deliver the live biology customers desire in the form of the best cells. Our platform is a fully integrated, end-to-end solution, comprising proprietary consumables, including our OptoSelect™ chips and reagent kits, advanced automation systems, and application software. We developed the Berkeley Lights Platform to provide the most advanced environment for rapid functional characterization of single cells at scale, the goal of which is to establish an industry standard for our customers throughout their cell-based product value chain.

Berkeley Lights’ Beacon® and Lightning™ systems and Culture Station™ instrument are FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Vestaron Corporation
Vestaron is leading a peptide-based revolution in crop protection. We are committed to providing growers with novel, effective peptide-based biopesticides that address proven targets. Our peptides overcome existing resistance issues while offering a desired safety profile for workers, beneficials and the environment. Vestaron has earned global recognition for its work, including the inaugural 2015 Bernard Blum Award for novel biocontrol solutions, the prestigious Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute in 2020 and Best New Biologic Product in the 2021 Crop Science Awards.

Forward-Looking Statements

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Berkeley Lights or its products, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that relate to future events, and actual results and product performance could differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Berkeley Lights undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s growth and continual evolution see the statements in the "Risk Factors" sections, and elsewhere, in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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