EMERYVILLE, Calif., Sept. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), the industrial bioscience company, today announced a multi-year, Technology Investment Agreement (TIA) worth up to $35 million with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office to create new research and development tools and technologies that will significantly reduce the time and cost of bringing new molecules to market. Amyris has chosen five specialized subcontractors to assist in achieving these innovations.
"This agreement will foster the development of new bio-based manufacturing solutions that should position the U.S. as a leader in the development and deployment of biotechnology-based products. We're excited to be part of this transformation and are thankful for DARPA's support to pursue it," said John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris.
According to DARPA, its focus in working with industrial biotechnology companies is to competitively solicit "innovative proposals to develop new tools, technologies and methodologies" to create new capabilities in biotech. The tools and infrastructure developed through DARPA-funded efforts are expected to enable the rapid and scalable development of transformative defense-relevant products and systems that are currently too complex to access.
Among these efforts is a focus on development of next-generation tools and technologies with the goal of compressing the time to market for any new molecule by at least 10-fold in both time and cost. Amyris will leverage its current and planned infrastructure to generate commercial-scale amounts of hundreds of new molecules of relevance to DARPA's Living Foundries program. These molecules are anticipated to include chemical building blocks for accessing radical new materials that are impossible to create with traditional petroleum-based feedstocks.
Beyond the anticipated industry-wide advancements to be made, this effort is expected to expand Amyris's research activities across multiple new organisms, add hundreds of new molecules from multiple pathways to Amyris's production portfolio, and integrate several advanced technologies into Amyris's strain improvement pipeline.
"This agreement holds the potential to make the promise of industrial biotechnology a reality. Our demonstrated capability to develop and deliver No Compromise® products, which are now disrupting personal care, industrial and health care markets, positions us well to play a role in advancing this technology for our country and helping make our planet more sustainable," said Melo. "Amyris's advanced strain engineering processes have been used to create unique and innovative molecules and products across industrial, personal care and health segments. This agreement could facilitate a radical expansion of our collection of building block molecules and give our industrial partners the opportunity to develop unique products with novel performance characteristics at a vastly accelerated rate."
Key Facts About the Agreement:
Amyris considers this agreement to be important to the company in that it is expected to:
- Enable the taking of numerous molecules from concept to commercialization in significantly less time and at lower cost
- Diversify the company's portfolio of host organisms and molecule classes
- Enable the development and integration of innovative new technologies into the company's strain improvement pipeline including significant advances in analytics, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, "big data" analysis, and human-machine interaction to solve complex biological problems
- Enable simultaneous scale-up of hundreds of molecules with a wide array of end-market applications
- Establish the company as a key contributor to the development of a true bioeconomy that routinely uses biology to supply useful molecules from abundant, plant-derived feedstocks without impacting the world's food supply
- Position the company to pursue a much broader array of additional collaborations ─ beyond its historical scope ─ to co-develop game-changing technology improvements across a variety of specialty chemicals and materials.
Today's announcement follows an earlier $8-million TIA with DARPA, announced by Amyris in June 2012, for the development of tools to expand the scope of Amyris's industrial synthetic biology technology platform across various biological platforms and cell types.
Amyris is the integrated renewable products company that is enabling the world's leading brands to achieve sustainable growth. Amyris applies its innovative bioscience solutions to convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules, specialty ingredients and consumer products. The company is delivering its No Compromise® products in focused markets, including specialty and performance chemicals, fragrance ingredients, and cosmetic emollients. More information about the company is available at www.amyris.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, and any statements other than statements of historical facts could be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding future events (such as Amyris's and its subcontractors' ability to successfully execute on development activities stipulated by the DARPA TIA, improvements to Amyris's strain engineering technology and associated reductions in the cost to develop and scale-up new molecules, and expectations for the creation of new development platforms, molecules and products resulting from its associated development activities under the DARPA TIA) that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on management's current expectations and actual results and future events may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties, including risks related to manufacturing capacity at Amyris's Brotas facility, delays or failures in development, production and commercialization of products, liquidity and ability to fund capital expenditures, Amyris's reliance on third parties to achieve its goals, and other risks detailed in the "Risk Factors" section of Amyris's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed on August 10, 2015. Amyris disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Amyris, the Amyris logo and No Compromise are registered trademarks of Amyris, Inc. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.