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Verenium Hits Milestone in Research Collaboration with Syngenta

Verenium Corporation, a developer of cellulosic ethanol and high-performance specialty enzymes, achieved an important technical milestone associated with a research program with Syngenta AG. (Earlier post.)As a result of this achievement, Verenium (a company formed by the merger of Diversa and Celunol) will receive a $500,000 payment from Syngenta.

A core component of this research effort utilized Verenium’s DirectEvolution technology to engineer the properties of a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of starch.

Traits specifically designed to increase productivity of biofuels linked with Syngenta elite genetics and input traits that protect the crop’s yield potential are intended to bring increased productivity for growers and cost-effective sustainable production for biofuels manufacturers.

—Ray Riley, head of research and product development in corn and soybeans for Syngenta

Verenium was formed in June 2007 through the merger of Diversa Corporation, a global leader in enzyme technology, and Celunol Corporation, a developer of cellulosic ethanol process technologies and projects.

Verenium operates a cellulosic ethanol pilot plants, an R&D facility, in Jennings, Louisiana and expects to achieve mechanical completion of a 1.4 million gallon-per-year, demonstration-scale facility to produce cellulosic ethanol by the end of the first quarter of 2008.

In addition, the Company’s process technology has been licensed by Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. and Tsukishima Kikai Co., Ltd. and has been incorporated into BioEthanol Japan’s 1.4 million liter-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Osaka, Japan—the world’s first commercial-scale plant to produce cellulosic ethanol from wood construction waste.

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