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Cyanotech Receives Notice of Allowance for Patent Covering the Use of Astaxanthin to Retard and Prevent Sunburn

—Patent Covers Use of Astaxanthin in Both Oral and Topical Applications—

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (June 6, 2002) — Cyanotech Corporation (Nasdaq NMS: CYAN) has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its patent application entitled “Method for Retarding and Preventing Sunburn by UV Light”, based on the protective properties of astaxanthin. The patent covers the use of natural and synthetic astaxanthin as a single active ingredient to retard and prevent sunburn in both oral and topical applications. This is the third United States patent Cyanotech has received for the protective properties of astaxanthin.

Cyanotech produces natural astaxanthin for its BioAstin® dietary supplements. The Company found in an earlier human clinical evaluation that consuming BioAstin natural astaxanthin for two weeks significantly increases the duration of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure required to create sunburn.

Natural astaxanthin, the active ingredient in BioAstin, has been shown to be a potent antioxidant over 500 times stronger than vitamin E and 10 times stronger than beta-carotene. Astaxanthin has also been shown to enhance and modulate the immune system. These effects in combination or separately may reduce the acute inflammation reaction of the skin and tissue just beneath the skin that follows excessive exposure to UV radiation, which leads to sunburn.

“Products acting to retard or prevent sunburn comprise a market estimated at more than $500 million annually,” said Gerald R. Cysewski, Ph.D., Cyanotech CEO. “The potential of BioAstin natural astaxanthin in both topical and oral sunscreen applications may prove to be significant as suncare companies like Sea & Ski ( have introduced multiple-ingredient topical products containing natural astaxanthin. Additionally, three European companies are now selling or developing oral or topical sunscreen products using BioAstin.”

— Cyanotech Corporation, the world’s leader in microalgae technology, produces high-value natural products from microalgae, and is the world’s largest commercial producer of natural astaxanthin (pronounced “asta-zan-thin”) from microalgae. Products include BioAstin® natural astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant with expanding applications as a human nutraceutical; NatuRose® natural astaxanthin for the aquaculture and animal feed industries; Spirulina Pacifica®, a nutrient-rich dietary supplement; and phycobiliproteins, which are fluorescent pigments used in the immunological diagnostics market. Spirulina and BioAstin are sold directly online through and as well as through resellers in over 30 countries. Corporate and product information is available at

Ronald P. Scott
EVP-Finance & Administration
(808) 326-1353

Bruce Russell
Investor Relations
310-559-4955 x 101