Ciba, Biosignal To Create New Anti-biofilm Products

Switzerland-based chemicals producer
Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc. and Australia-based antibacterial technology solutions provider
Biosignal Ltd. have agreed to jointly develop new antimicrobial compounds for industrial and
consumer products using Biosignal’s anti-biofilm technology. Biosignal also conferred an exclusive
license to Ciba to use the technology for fiber, coating, plastic, paint and paper product
applications, among others.

Biofilms — bacterial colonies on a solid surface — can cause corrosion, material
degradation, contamination and fouling in industrial environments. Biosignal reports its
anti-biofilm technology interferes with bacteria’s signaling systems, which are used to create and
maintain biofilms. When used on a targeted surface, the anti-biofilm does not impact the
surrounding area; and since it does not kill the bacteria, bacterial resistance can be avoided,
according to the company. Biosignal based its protective, man-made coatings on a discovery that
eastern Australian seaweed Delicia pulchra uses natural chemicals called furanones to keep it

Ciba and Biosignal expected to begin development in May, and reported testing would occur at
both companies’ laboratories.

“This partnership with Biosignal complements our own research on antimicrobial technologies
and two other new partnerships in this field within the last year,” said Martin Riediker, chief
technology officer and executive committee member, Ciba. “We believe this collaboration offers an
opportunity to launch the first technology which acts directly on biofilms into some of our key

May 2, 2005