Amyris and Michelin Announce Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Renewable Isoprene
EMERYVILLE, Calif. & PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS), a leading renewable chemicals and fuels company, and Michelin (EPA: ML), a leading innovator in the tire industry, announced today that the two companies have signed a definitive agreement to collaborate in the development and commercialization of Amyris No Compromise® renewable isoprene, the chemical building block in rubber tires and other products that use synthetic and natural rubbers.
Under the agreement, Amyris and Michelin will partner to contribute funding and technical resources to develop Amyris’s technology to produce isoprene from renewable feedstocks. Amyris expects to begin commercializing this isoprene in 2015 for use in tire and other specialty chemical applications such as adhesives, coatings and sealants. Michelin is committed to off-take volumes on a ten-year basis. In addition, Amyris retains the right to market its renewable isoprene to other customers.
“This partnership will allow both companies to continue Michelin’s tradition of innovation in the tire industry and expand Amyris’s industrial biotechnology platform for new products,” said John Melo, CEO of Amyris. “Growing demand for isoprene and a desire to increase the sourcing of sustainable raw materials create a great opportunity for Amyris to bring to market renewable solutions with No Compromise® performance that also reduce price volatility.”
Amyris’s technology, currently used to produce at commercial scale a 15-carbon molecule called farnesene, can also convert plant-based sugars into isoprene, a 5-carbon molecule and main ingredient in the production of synthetic rubber. Isoprene has traditionally been produced as a by-product of the thermal cracking of naphtha to produce ethylene or via C4 refinery stream synthesis. As the petrochemical industry adjusts to lighter cracking slates with the advent of shale gas, new sources of isoprene have become necessary.
About Amyris, Inc.
Amyris is an integrated renewable products company focused on providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. Amyris uses its industrial synthetic biology platform to convert plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules - flexible building blocks that can be used in a wide range of products. Amyris is commercializing these products both as No Compromise® renewable ingredients in cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, polymers, lubricants and consumer products, and also as No Compromise renewable diesel and jet fuel. Amyris Brasil Ltda., a subsidiary of Amyris, oversees the establishment and expansion of Amyris's production in Brazil. Amyris also has fuel distribution capabilities in the United States through its subsidiary, Amyris Fuels, LLC. More information about Amyris is available at www.amyris.com.
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. Michelin employs 111,000 people in more than 170 countries and operates 70 production sites in 18 countries throughout five continents. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases and offers electronic mobility support services, on ViaMichelin.com. Research and innovation development is being taken care of in technology centres in Asia, Europe and North America. More information about Michelin is available at www.michelin.com/corporate.
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 statements regarding the market potential of our isoprene and the timing of initial production and commercialization) 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 those associated with any delays or failures in development, production or commercialization of products, our reliance on third parties to achieve our goals, and other risks detailed in the “Risk Factors” section of Amyris’s annual report on Form 10-K filed on March 14, 2011 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed on May 11, 2011 and August 11, 2011. 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, Biofene, and No Compromise are trademarks or registered trademarks of Amyris, Inc.