Company initiatives, Investments

Evolva buys Allylix

I can’t believe it is already almost the end of the year! The blog is grateful for celebrating its 7th year last November and thank you for those who continue to follow it.

Let me start the month of December with this news from Switzerland-based Evolva acquiring California-based Allylix. It has been in October 2012 since I last reported about Allylix, which focuses its R&D on fermentation-based flavors and fragrance ingredients. Evolva will acquire Allylix in return for an overall consideration of 46 million newly-issued Evolva shares. Cargill, Evolva’s partner on its stevia program, will invest $4 million in Evolva shares in support of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close by mid-December 2014.

With the acquisition, Evolva will start marketing in 2015, some of Allylix’s current product portfolio below:

  • Nootkatone – an aroma molecule that occurs in grapefruits. Commercially valuable as a flavor and fragrance, its greatest promise may well be as a safe and effective skin and home protectant against noxious pests such as ticks, mosquitoes, and bed bugs. US Centers for Disease Control research has demonstrated that nootkatone is a highly effective, rapid-acting natural agent against pests such as the ticks that transmit Lyme Disease.
  • Valencene – an orange flavour and fragrance used in food and drinks, personal care and household products, as well as an intermediate. It takes over 1 million kilos of oranges to extract 1 kilo of valencene. Fermentation production provides a more sustainable, economical, and reliable supply chain, creating broad new applications for this ingredient.

Allylix is also reportedly developing a brewed version of sandalwood oil, a highly sought-after fragrance that is now in short supply because its natural source (the tropical sandalwood tree) has largely disappeared due to overharvesting and illegal logging. Allylix’s technologies, strain development capabilities and fermentation know-how will enable Evolva to also accelerate the development of its own products, particularly terpenes such as saffron and agarwood.

Evolva has already been looking to produce yeast-based fermentation route for vanillin with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF).

In terms of synergies, both companies are focused entirely on yeast. Evolva will conduct a review and potential realignment of its R&D portfolio as a result of the transaction. This is expected to complete in Q1 2015.

Allylix has been founded in 2004. The green blog has been following other fermentation-based renewable chem companies who focus on flavors and fragrances markets such as Amyris, Blue Marble Biomaterials, and P2 Science, among others. According to a recent report from BBC Research, the global flavor and fragrance market is expected to grow $33.5bn by 2019 with a CAGR of 5.8%.

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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