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Amyris launching biopharma platform

Amyris, Inc., a company which converts plant-sourced sugars into renewable hydrocarbons including drop-in fuels, is launching a µPharm (microPharm) Discovery and Production Platform. The µPharm platform provides the pharmaceutical industry with an integrated discovery and production process for therapeutic compounds for which a natural source is scarce or unavailable, or for which chemical synthesis is not cost-effective.

Building on Amyris’ previous success in creation of a strain for the cost-effective production of the antimalarial drug precursor artemisinic acid and its low-cost industrial synthetic biology platform, Amyris’s µPharm platform will add the novel ability to generate chemical diversity relevant to therapeutic target identification.

With the µPharm platform, we intend to add leading pharmaceutical partners to the extensive list of world leading companies with whom we have been collaborating. We believe the µPharm platform gives us an exciting opportunity to make an even greater positive impact on the world and drive additional growth for our company.

—John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris

The µPharm platform is founded on Amyris’ proprietary technologies for microbial strain engineering, including:

  1. a set of automated multiplex genome editing tools for high-efficiency installation and optimization of biosynthetic pathways;

  2. high-throughput screening capabilities for the identification of strains producing compounds of interest and development of strains that produce such compounds at commercially-relevant levels; and

  3. proven industrial-scale fermentation and recovery infrastructure for reliable, predictable manufacturing of compounds from renewable feedstock.

Amyris renewable specialty chemicals are produced from plant sugars, and include compounds for consumer care, performance materials, fuels and lubricants derived from a class of molecules called isoprenoids. Isoprenoids are a diverse family of structurally complex chemicals found in nature, and include molecules with a range of pharmacological properties, including antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities.

The µPharm platform builds upon Amyris’s foundational expertise in producing isoprenoids to enable both the discovery and industrial production of a wire range of molecules of interest for the pharmaceutical industry.


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