Renewable chemicals and fuels company Amyris, Inc. announced that as a result of the continued success of Amyris’s existing technology collaboration with Total, the two parties intend to form a joint venture company by mid-2013 to market renewable diesel, jet fuel, and other specialty products derived from Biofene Amyris’s renewable brand of farnesene. Amyris also has confirmed that Total will provide $30 million of funding to Amyris by July 2013, as anticipated in the revised collaboration agreement announced last year. (Earlier post.)
Amyris also announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with Cosan to expand their joint venture, Novvi, to include renewable additives and finished lubricants for industrial, commercial and automotive uses in addition to the joint venture's original scope of renewable, base oils for such markets. Amyris plans to supply Biofene to Novvi for finishing into final products until the joint venture builds its own farnesene production capacity.
Amyris also has met the technical milestones at its production plant in Brazil to satisfy the conditions for a follow-on common stock investment of $5 million from its existing investor, Biolding Investment SA. The $5 million Amyris received last week represented the final tranche of Biolding’s preexisting contractual obligation to fund $15 million upon satisfaction of certain performance conditions at Amyris’s Biofene plant.
Amyris is delivering on a track-record of focused execution and collaboration. We continue to meet or exceed the technical milestones for our collaboration with Total and work closely to commercialize products under the Amyris-Total fuels joint venture.—John Melo, Amyris President & CEO
Amyris’ synthetic biology platform enables the modification of the genetic pathways of microorganisms, primarily yeast, to turn them into living factories to produce target molecules. Amyris is also using its technology platform to develop production processes to scale to commercial levels.
The primary biological pathway within the microbe Amyris currently uses to produce target molecules is the isoprenoid pathway. Isoprenoids constitute a large, diverse class of organic chemicals with current product applications in a wide range of industries, including specialty chemicals and fuels. With this pathway, it can potentially produce thousands of different isoprenoid molecules.