Amyris Inc (NASDAQ:AMRS) announced that it has successfully expanded its world-class expertise in strain engineering and optimization to 26 key metabolic precursors across multiple organisms, as part of its Technology Investment Agreement (TIA) with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The multi-year TIA, worth up to $35 million to create new research and development tools and technologies to significantly reduce the time and cost of bringing new molecules to market, was previously announced on September 23, 2015, as part of DARPA’s Living Foundries program.
Amyris shares reacted to the news, rising nearly 12% to $0.59 in pre-market trading Tuesday.
The development and optimization of metabolic networks to these 26 metabolic intermediates and many different pathways beyond terpenoids allows Amyris to develop an industrial-scale fermentation process for virtually any biological molecule. In addition to the expansion of the range of metabolic precursors, Amyris has also successfully expanded its industry-leading high-throughput S. cerevisiae strain construction and testing pipeline to several other industrially-relevant organisms.
These advancements have the cumulative effect of drastically reducing the R&D costs and timelines for developing a commercial process for any biological target, irrespective of the final application of the molecule. This is empowering Amyris with additional resources to develop next-generation capabilities to further advance its competitive position and accelerate its capabilities to produce go-to-market sustainable supply solutions at industrial scale for its partners.
“The DARPA-funded TIA has allowed us to continue our pioneering efforts at applying automation, next-generation analytics, and machine learning algorithms to find biological solutions to the bio-manufacturing sector,” said John Melo, Amyris President and CEO. “Amyris has always been at the forefront of utilizing big-data analytics and cutting-edge tools in the biotechnology sector, and our recent R&D results continue to pave the way toward expanding our footprint in multiple markets where fermentation-derived products offer our partners and consumers a sustainable, scalable source of supply.”
Amyris, Inc. engages in the research, development, manufacture, and sale of fuels and farnesene-derived products. Its products include cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, performance materials, diesel, jet fuel, and lubricants. It operates through the following geographical segments: United States, Brazil, Europe, and Asia.