Earnings, Products

Codexis exits fatty alcohols project

Sugar-based alcohols business is not that sweet?

The big news last month on Codexis’s third quarter earnings call is that the company stopped further development of its CodeXol® detergent alcohols franchise earlier in the year as the company also decided to exit its CodeXyme® cellulase enzymes business. The cellulase enzymes catalyse the conversion of cellulose into fermentable glucose, and it is used to produce the  CodeXol®

According to Codexis, the company has started winding down the CodeXyme® franchise after being unable to secure a suitable partnership for the cellulase enzyme business. Codexis has also been battling with enzymes producer Dyadic in August after the company alleged a breach in the license agreement concerning a proprietary fungal expression technology for the production of enzymes. Codexis has been using this license from Dyadic solely in connection with its CodeXyme® cellulase enzyme. Maybe Codexis would rather exit the business than further increase its cash loss in legal fees?

Going forward, the company said it will exclusively focus on its biocatalysis business enterprise that will develop and supply enzymes to reduce the costs and increase the efficiency of their customers’ pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing processes. There is probably going to be further layoffs within the company as it undergoes restructuring to reduce its operation costs. Codexis said majority of these cost reduction measures will be in place by year end.

Codexis appointed Greg Hughes, as its new Vice President, Strategic Alliance & Product Development, effective October 28, 2013. Dr. Hughes spent the last 11 years in Process Chemistry at Merck with a primary focus in developing and implementing biocatalysis technology.

LS9 is the only company the blog knows so far that has also been working on fermentation-based fatty alcohols. There are no recent news from LS9 since early this year when the company hired Tjerk de Ruiter as its new CEO. Back then, De Ruiter said LS9 is looking for commercialization partnership to producer their sugar-based fatty alcohols.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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