First Venture Technologies Corp.

First Venture Technologies Corp.

February 28, 2005 11:59 ET

First Venture Reports Update on Substantial Equivalence Testing


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: FIRST VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES CORP.

TSX VENTURE SYMBOL: FEB

FEBRUARY 28, 2005 - 11:59 ET

First Venture Reports Update on Substantial
Equivalence Testing

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 28, 2005) - First
Venture Technologies Corp. (TSX VENTURE:FEB) reports that initial
results from substantial equivalence studies on its genetically
engineered red wine yeast indicate that global gene expression patterns
are essentially the same as in the unmodified yeast. Microarray analysis
has shown that 24 hours after inoculation, only 13 of the approximately
6,000 genes in the yeast have been affected by the transformation;
genetic activity has been increased in 7 genes, and decreased in 6
genes. The change in activity of these 13 genes is not expected to
negatively affect the quality of the fermented product in any way. These
data will be presented at First Venture's annual general meeting
scheduled for Monday February 28, 2005 at 10:00 am in Vancouver, BC.

"These results are very reassuring," says Dr. Hennie van Vuuren of the
Wine Research Centre at The University of British Columbia. "By
definition, the successful transformation of the yeast leads to an
effect on the genetic activity of the organism. If all goes well, only a
minimal number of genes will be affected, and those genes will be
related to the effective transformation of the organism. No detrimental
changes should result. At this stage, it appears that this is indeed the
case."

First Venture also reports that growth and fermentation rates of its
yeast are substantially equivalent to the unmodified strain. Additional
tests, including sensory analysis, are scheduled to continue through
2005.

"We're very pleased with our results so far," said Mr. Howard Louie,
President of First Venture. "We feel that we've eliminated most of the
technology risk that was initially associated with development of the
yeast product. Following successful completion of the substantial
equivalence studies, we look forward to the final stage of development
of our red wine, white wine and brandy yeast strains, including sensory
testing and submission to the FDA for GRAS status."

First Venture also reports that it is continuing with its sake yeast
transformation program, and that it has extended its European patent
application filing for the urea degrading yeast technology to include
Hong Kong.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Howard J. Louie, President & CEO

ABOUT FIRST VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES

First Venture Technologies Corp. is a biotechnology company utilizing
leading edge food science technologies to develop and commercialize
advanced yeast products. The company's primary focus is the
commercialization of its platform yeast technology aimed at
substantially reducing ethyl carbamate (or urethane), a known
carcinogen, from many wines and distilled spirits. These advanced yeasts
have the capability to break down urea, one of the primary precursors
leading to the formation of ethyl carbamate, during the yeast
fermentation process.

First Venture's yeast technology is being developed, through a
collaborative research agreement, at The University of British
Columbia's world renowned Wine Research Centre, in Vancouver, Canada.
Patent applications or provisional protection filings covering the urea
degrading technology have been filed in a total of 19 jurisdictions.
First Venture has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to produce,
market and distribute or sublicense this yeast technology.

For further company information please access our website:
www.firstventuretech.com.

WARNING: The company relies upon litigation protection for
"forward-looking statements". Statements which are not purely historical
are forward-looking, including those regarding beliefs, plans,
expectations or intentions regarding the future. These statements
involve risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect
anticipated future results and accordingly, such results may differ
materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements.
Although the company believes that the beliefs, plans, expectations and
intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be
no assurance that they will prove to be accurate.


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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    First Venture Technologies Corp.
    Howard Louie
    President & CEO
    (604) 648-2200
    (604) 648-2201 (FAX)
    hlouie@firstventuretech.com
    www.firstventuretech.com
    The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
    or accuracy of this release.