Amyris is entering a collaborative research and development agreement with BASF where Amyris will use its strain engineering technology to develop a microorganism capable of producing a target molecule by BASF. The companies expect to further collaborate on a strain development program and consider other joint research and development opportunities based on the success of the initial development program.
In another recent Amyris news, the company said it has expanded and extended for two more years its ongoing collaboration in high performance polymers with Kuraray using Amyris’ renewable farnesene Biofene. Kuraray is reportedly launching a new category of elastomers such as viscosity index improvers, sealants and adhesives made from Biofene.
Amyris will receive an undisclosed amount of collaboration funding over the next two years, and Kuraray will purchase around $4 million of Amyris’s common stock this month.
Kuraray has already developed Biofene-based liquid rubber that reacts with tire rubber more easily than traditional materials and strengthens adhesion of runner components to improve tire share, stability and performance. Leading tire manufacturers are reportedly conducting field, safety and performance tests for the liquid rubber in their tire formulations with a number of these tests nearing conclusion.
Kuraray has also already produced and began customer sampling and product evaluation for a new category of elastomers, hydrogenated styrenic farnesene copolymer (HSFC), which reportedly have shown to have improved flow properties and low residual strain, opening opportunities for vibration dampening product applications.
By the way, here’s a bonus information about another of Amyris’ collaboration, and this is with PET producer M&G Chemicals. The companies have been working on a farnesene-based “Bio-barrier” technology, a renewable oxygen scavenger barrier solution, which will be sold as ready-to-use additive to be mixed with standard PET grade. M&G Chemicals has applied for US FDA approval for this additive last year.
The oxygen scavenger is used in barrier PET, where it reacts with oxygen, and it can be incorporated in the wall of a PET container using standard container production technologies. The oxygen scavenger, when present in the wall of the container and properly activated, reacts with the oxygen that flows through the container wall, protecting the contents of the container from oxidation.
M&G Chemicals owns all the intellectual property rights for the use of this barrier solution, and will have the right to commercialize the final product.