DANBURY, Conn., Oct. 25, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATMI, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATMI) today announced that it has further extended its global biopharma manufacturing footprint with the opening of a new Chinese manufacturing facility as part of a joint venture with Austar, a Hong Kong-based comprehensive service provider to the China pharmaceutical industry.

The joint venture, ATMI Austar LifeSciences Limited, originated with the goal of producing and marketing high-end, ultra-clean sterile materials packaging for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and sterile pharmaceutical components to meet growing demand across the biopharmaceutical industry in the Asia-Pacific region. The new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Beijing, which was brought online today at an official Grand Opening ceremony attended by customers and Chinese FDA and government officials, represents a significant step toward that goal.

Under the joint venture agreement, ATMI Austar LifeSciences will be producing certain ATMI LifeSciences products, including Cleansteam TM products, with local blow-film extrusion and packaging converting lines using a copy-exact strategy. The new Beijing facility also offers potential expansion opportunities for ATMI's Integrity TM line of bioprocess vessels (BPVs) manufacturing, which management says could be rolled out directly as the Asian biotech market continues to emerge.

"This joint venture not only provides ATMI LifeSciences with access to the API and biopharmaceutical markets in Asia but also access to Austar's existing ISO Class V GMP-certified, cleanroom-based infrastructure that we can begin to leverage immediately," commented Mario Philips, General Manager and Senior Vice-President of ATMI LifeSciences.  "Together, under the ATMI Austar LifeSciences banner, we are working to create a new standard for advanced materials packaging for pharmaceutical manufacturing throughout the region."

The new Beijing facility's capabilities include blow extrusion of films and ultra clean packaging converting and assembly lines, for use in ultra-clean sterile packaging applications for steam or gamma irradiation applications. In addition to film extrusion and packaging converting lines, the facility also features warehousing and significant cleanroom extension opportunities. It will also serve as a back-up facility for ATMI LifeSciences' Hoegaarden, Belgium plant, providing enhanced supply chain security and contingency for ATMI customers globally. 

"We believe that the flexibility and value that we offer will result in the pharmaceutical manufacturers converting to the film-based, single-use packaging products that ATMI Austar LifeSciences will be able to provide locally," added Mars Ho, Chief Executive Officer of Austar. "The pharmaceutical market in Asia is expanding rapidly as more multinational firms look to extend their manufacturing capabilities into this vital region. Local supply and support is an important competitive differentiator."

This addition to ATMI's manufacturing base comes just three months after the completion of a two-year, multi-million-dollar expansion project for its Bloomington, Minnesota manufacturing facility. With that expansion, ATMI established its North American hub for the production, marketing and development of its Integrity TM single-use technologies for biopharmaceutical and other life science applications.

About Austar

Austar is a comprehensive service provider to the China pharmaceutical industry. Customers include multinational pharmaceutical companies and scientific research institutions. Founded in Hong Kong in 1991, Austar provides engineering design and project management services, technical support services, and Good Manufacturing Practices consultancy through its branch offices and companies in Beijing, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, Guangzhou, and Chengdu in China. More information is available at http://www.austar.com.cn .

About ATMI

ATMI, Inc. provides specialty semiconductor materials, leading-edge materials development science, and high-purity materials handling and delivery solutions designed to increase process efficiencies for the worldwide semiconductor, flat panel, and life sciences industries. For more information, please visit http://www.atmi.com .

The ATMI, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5254

About ATMI LifeSciences

ATMI LifeSciences is a leader in single-use mixing, storage, and bioreactor technology, fluoropolymer-based products, and custom-engineered, flexible packaging solutions. The business's fundamental knowledge of polymers, specially selected resins, and its clean room manufacturing experience combine to help drive optimum performance in critical disposable process operations. For more information, please visit www.atmi-lifesciences.com .

© 2010 ATMI, Inc. All rights reserved. ATMI, the ATMI logo, Cleansteam, and Integrity are trademarks or registered trademarks of ATMI, Inc., in the United States, other countries or both.

Statements contained herein that relate to ATMI's future performance, including, without limitation, statements with respect to ATMI's anticipated results of operations or level of business for 2010 or any other future period, are forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on current expectations only and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, including, but not limited to, changes in semiconductor industry growth (including, without limitation, wafer starts) or ATMI's markets; competition, problems, or delays developing, commercializing and delivering new products; problems or delays in integrating acquired operations and businesses; uncertainty in the credit and financial markets; and other factors described in ATMI's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, and other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. ATMI undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

CONTACT:  ATMI, Inc.           Dean Hamilton, Director, ATMI Investor Relations &           Corporate Communications          203.207.9349          203.794.1100 x4202          dhamilton@atmi.com          Impress Public Relations          Media Enquiries          Richard Kerns            + 44 (0)161-728-5880            richard@impress-pr.com           Erin Hatzi            + (1) 503-928-7870            erin@impress-pr.com

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