Lygos Appoints Industry Expert Johan van Walsem as COO to Lead Commercial Operations and Manufacturing

BERKELEY, Calif., July 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lygos, a leading innovator in developing sustainable high-value specialty chemicals, today announced that industry veteran Johan van Walsem will join as Chief Operations Officer. van Walsem brings more than 25 years of industry experience in bioprocess engineering and a demonstrated track record in developing, scaling up and commercializing advanced fermentation processes.

"Johan has extensive experience in the development and operation of fermentation-based manufacturing processes at commercial scale," said Eric Steen, CEO of Lygos. “As Lygos grows from pilot scale to commercial scale manufacturing, he ensures that this critical phase will be expertly managed by a proven industry expert. Johan will help us scale the fermentation processes required to manufacture our Bio-Malonate™ family of products in an environmentally-safe, cyanide-free, and cost-competitive manner."

van Walsem joins Lygos from Metabolix where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Manufacturing and Product Development and led biopolymer and renewable chemicals business platforms enabled by fermentation technology. He was responsible for defining commercial strategy around high-value markets, establishing global supply chains for biopolymers, and developing advanced manufacturing technology to lower overall costs. He has more than 25 years of experience in the bioprocessing industry leading development and manufacturing efforts for large-scale, fermentation-based processes. He holds a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and an M.B.A. from the University of South Africa.

"Lygos offers a rare opportunity in its business growth prospects and the innovation of its technology platform for bio-malonates,” said van Walsem. “This is a unique platform that allows our customers to create even more value. I’m excited to join a team of top-notch scientists, engineers, and industry experts to help commercialize a truly ground-breaking technology."

About Lygos, Inc.
Lygos makes microbial-based manufacturing solutions at the juncture of biology and technology that create market-transforming product opportunities. Lygos' first products -- malonic acid and derivatives -- replace low-quality petrochemical products produced at high economic and environmental cost in countries without strong environmental protection programs. Lygos is venture-backed by 50 Years, First Round Capital, IA Ventures, OS Fund, Vast Ventures and the Y Combinator Continuity Fund, along with notable angel investors. Lygos' R&D was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter: @LygosBiotech.

Editorial Contact Lonn Johnston for Lygos +1.650.219.7764

Source: Lygos