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Solagran Limited (ASX:SLA) Announce Formal Opening Of Russian Facility

 The Directors of Solagran Limited (ASX: SLA)(PNK: SOGRF) are pleased to announce the formal opening of the SibEX production facility in Tomsk in south western Siberia. SibEX is now an 85 percent owned subsidiary of Solagran Limited.

The facility was opened on Thursday 20 March 2008, by the Governor of the Tomsk Region, Mr Victor Kress. Also in attendance at the opening ceremony were the Deputy Governor Mrs Oksana Kozlovskaya and the Chairman of the Tomsk Regional Duma, Mr Boris Maltsev, together with many other dignitaries.

The event generated significant interest within the Tomsk Region, and was the subject of a great deal of coverage and discussion in the mass media.

Participants in the opening ceremony spoke of the significance of the SibEX plant as the world's first commercial production facility for the isolation of plant polyprenols at purity levels acceptable for use in prescription medicines. Speakers congratulated all those involved in the project, including the engineers and designers, the construction contractors and all those involved in the development and construction process. They also acknowledged the importance of the plant, not only for the economic and social wellbeing of the Tomsk Region, but also for Russia generally as well as for the wider international community.

Polyprenols are perhaps the most interesting and valuable new class of pharmaceutical substance developed over the past 30-35 years, and have been the subject of a great many articles in scientific journals, particularly in Russia and Japan.

Polyprenols are long chain isoprenoid alcohols which play a key role in cell metabolism. They are known to be effective in dealing with a range of conditions (hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and conditions associated with chronic alcoholism) for which there are no satisfactory existing treatments. They have also been proven to have very low side effects. They are extremely powerful as liver protectors.

Far too complex to synthesise, until now polyprenols have only been available to researchers in analytical quantities and at levels of purity well below that required for pharmaceutical production. Solagran's internationally patented technology now permits production of high purity polyprenols in commercial quantities.

Bioeffective R, the active ingredient in the prescription medicine Ropren which regulators released for sale in Russia last week, comprises a very specific combination of polyprenols. As part of the proceedings last Thursday, those present had an opportunity to become acquainted with a number of stages of the production process. Dr Vladimir Karpitsky, the chief technologist at SibEX, demonstrated the final step in the polyprenols production process.

In the plant, pine needles go through ten separate technological processes. All production equipment in the facility is non standard in nature and was designed and built specifically for this plant by the Siberian Chemical Production Plant.


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