Anybody remembered when DSM bought Martek Biosciences for $1.09bn in late 2010? Those were the good old days for bioscience companies. This latest news on DSM’s investment in Amyris might be just a blip but any influx of money in the industrial biotech community is a welcome relief and could lead to bigger things to come.
Royal DSM agreed to make an initial equity investment of $25 million in Amyris translating into a shareholding of ~12%. DSM may invest an additional $25m subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. The companies will enter into a development cooperation focused on products for the global health and nutrition markets including vitamins and other nutritional ingredients.
DSM, by the way, is a major global vitamins and carotenoids producer (through its DSM Nutritional Products business), and it also supplies specialty aroma ingredients to the flavors and fragrance industries. With Amyris expanding its portfolio in these areas, it is a win-win for both companies, especially as DSM has large fermentation capabilities worldwide that can probably accommodate Amyris’s yeast-based strain engineering platform.
Amyris said it is in the process of reducing its debt by around $75 million, and including the DSM announcement, it has several recent agreements that could rake in up to $95m in equity financing.