Yes, it has been awhile since I last blogged but no apologies here as I had a good time off visiting my hometown in the Philippines the past two weeks (despite working on my newsletter while there as well).
It’s now back to the grinders for me and here’s an interesting news from Amyris about its newly launched Pathways Program, where potential partners, with a small initial investment, can sponsor and secure a molecule they are interested in having Amyris produce using its existing core technology and bioengineering advancements enabled by its project with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
The Pathways Program provides potential partners with a de-risked opportunity to use Amyris’s capabilities and tools for the construction of organisms that convert sugar to the partner’s target molecule.
Being a public company has not exactly been kind for industrial biotechnology companies such as Amyris so hopefully this kind of program will not only boost the company’s revenues but also help the renewable chemicals industry to find other chemical building blocks to exploit at a lower cost and with minimized risk.
In another announcement, Amyris said it has signed its first Biofene® ingredient supply agreement for the global nutraceuticals and vitamins market. The agreement represents a multi-million-dollar arrangement with one of the world’s leading nutraceuticals manufacturers (pity we don’t know the name). Initial volumes of farnesene were reportedly delivered to the customer in the fourth quarter for conversion to the final product.
Amyris expects its 2016 sales revenue under this agreement to exceed its annual renewable fuel revenues to date, and should the companies execute a forward volume agreement for beyond 2016, Amyris believes revenue under this agreement could be around $20 million/year following successful commercialization.
I used to cover the nutraceuticals market back when I was still working for Chemical Market Reporter/ICIS Chemical Business. Here’s an old article that I wrote in 2006 about this industry :). According to Amyris, demand for global nutritional products continues to grow at a much faster pace than GDP.