NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- American Vanguard today announced that its subsidiary, AMVAC Chemical Corp., entered into an exclusive, long-term licensing agreement with Washington State University Research Foundation that will enable the company to develop, register and commercialize a new potato sprout inhibitor for post-harvest use in the U.S. and Canada.

Traditional post-harvest potato sprout inhibitors such as chlorpropham are being used on more than 5 million tons of all U.S. fresh market and processing potatoes, ensuring the availability of potatoes to consumers year-round.

Under the terms of the agreement, AMVAC will obtain license rights for the life of patents covering a wide range of compounds that have been shown to provide excellent sprout inhibition. The new class of inhibitors will be developed as more environmentally-friendly alternatives to existing products for the purpose of producing higher quality potatoes of all types and longer shelf life. Additionally, since these inhibitors are based on naturally-occurring plant compounds, they may be approved for use on organic potatoes.

The key patent for the potato sprout inhibitors was issued in the U.S. in February 2005, and a similar patent is pending in Canada. AMVAC plans to immediately begin the registration process for the primary compound as well as generate efficacy data, and expects to submit a complete registration dossier in the next 15 to 18 months in both the US and Canada. AMVAC would hope to launch products during the later part of the 2008 season.

Eric Wintemute, president and CEO of American Vanguard, said, "We are extremely pleased to license this breakthrough technology. Testing at Washington State University has indicated that for sprout inhibition, this technology will be both efficacious and provide a new, softer alternative to growers and processors.

"This agreement represents our second license of newly patented technology. The sprout inhibitor complements our three pre-harvest potato products; Vapam(R), K-Pam(TM), and Blocker(TM)."

Keith Jones, executive director at Washington State University Research Foundation, added, "We believe our research has the potential to have major impact on the way potato growers of Washington and beyond control potato sprouting in storage. We chose to work with AMVAC because of the company's record of success with niche product lines."

American Vanguard Corporation is a diversified specialty and agricultural products company that develops and markets products for crop protection and management, turf and ornamentals management, and public and animal health.

SOURCE: American Vanguard Corporation.