Countdown To Codexis’ Day Of Reckoning

It is earnings season and bio-catalyst developer Codexis (CDXS:  Nasdaq) is expected to report fourth quarter and year-end 2017 financial results in the coming weeks.  The three analysts who regularly publish estimates for the company expect a nickel profit in the quarter on $23 million in total sales of the company’s custom protein catalysts.  Codexis is still perfecting its proprietary platform technology called CodeEvolver, but has already delivered an array of unique enzymes that help drive critical biological processes for its customers. Codexis does not have a good track record in terms of meeting the consensus estimate.  The company has only cleared the...

Ramp-Up Delay Sends Solazyme Stock Into Free-Fall

Jim Lane Revenue and customer numbers are up at Solazyme (SZYM), 60% YOY growth from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014. But a slowdown in the rollout at Moema capacity leads to a spectacular 58% one-day drop in the stock price. What happened? Solazyme has been on a relatively steady downward trajectory for the past few quarters, dropping from the $11-$13 range and down into the $6-$8 range. And then plunged a stunning 58 percent to $3.14 yesterday – amidst downgrades by Cowen & Company, Pacific Crest and Baird generally to Market Perform or Neutral, and remains...
AMRS 2010 Business model

Can Amyris Find The Ingredients Of Success?

In late August 2018, sustainable ingredients developer Amyris (AMRS:  Nasdaq) staged a successful secondary offering by a selling stockholders, Foris Ventures and Vivo Capital Fund.  In conjunction with the offering the company raised $46.0 million in new capital through the exercise of warrants held by existing shareholders.  Last week the shares closed over 40% higher than the $6.25 deal price.  The chief executive officer lauded shareholders for their support and apparent endorsement of the company’s game plan to commercialize sustainable alternatives to petroleum-sourced materials used in fragrance, health and beauty products. Amyris leadership should celebrate its loyal shareholders given how far the company drifted...

Amyris, Cosan JV Launches 100% Renewable Base Oils

Jim Lane Portrait of a breakout: Amyris (AMRS), Cosan (CZZ) JV Novii launches “next generation of revolutionary oils” touting “unmatched value” and “unbeatable economics” In California, Novvi unveiled two new 100 percent renewable base oil products, a 100 percent renewable polyalphaolefin (PAO) Group IV and a 100 percent renewable version of its NovaSpec Group III+ base oil. Both will be manufactured at the company’s production facility in Houston. Base oils are blended with additives to make the engine oils and lubricants sold on the market today. So, here’s the technical scoop. Novvi’s 100 percent renewable...

Two Thumbs Up for Solazyme: AkzoNobel deal, new technology for structured oils

Jim Lane The sector’s perennial hottest company strikes again with “potentially disruptive” new technology to change the positioning and performance of triglyceride oils. In California, Solazyme (SZYM) and AkzoNobel announced an agreement targeting the development of advanced tailored triglyceride oils and commercial sales for near-term product supply. The agreement focuses on supply for the chemical giant’s Surface Chemistry and Decorative Paints businesses. Commercial supply of multi-thousand ton quantities of highly sustainable algal oil is expected to originate from the Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils Joint Venture oil manufacturing plant in Brazil. Sales of product are anticipated to commence...

BioAmber Goes Ballistic

Jim Lane Word arrived from Minnesota that BioAmber has signed a 210,000 ton per year take-or-pay contract for bio-based succinic acid with Vinmar International. Explaining why BioAmber (BIOA) stock shot up nearly 17% in today’s trading despite a global equities pullback that affected almost everyone else in industrial biotech. Under the terms of the 15-year agreement, Vinmar has committed to purchase and BioAmber Sarnia has committed to sell 10,000 tons of succinic acid per year from the 30,000 ton per year capacity plant that is currently under construction in Sarnia, Canada. Bottom line, BioAmber continues to roll and roll....

Biobased and Biofuel Investments: A System

Jim Lane A Biofuels and Biobased investment primer: An 18-combination, 8-character system for classifying bio investments Here’s our investment primer on how to size up the risks and the rewards and tune them to meet your goals. And, a system for organizing opportunities. So, you’re thinking about investing in bio? Here’s the good news – you’re not alone. Here’s the bad news – you’re not alone. There are retail, private equity, hedge fund, sovereign wealth, strategic, grower, VC and institutional investors snooping around too, and making active investments. For one thing, carbon’s making a comeback as the...

Solazyme Launches Biodegradable Encapsulated Lubricant For Drilling Market

Jim Lane Enters oil & gas drilling market with world’s first encapsulated lubricant. Solazyme: “Targeted delivery technology provides improved performance and sustainability.” In California, Solazyme (SZYM) announced its entry into the oil and gas drilling fluids additive market. Building upon its proprietary platform of high performance, sustainable Tailored oils, Solazyme has introduced Encapso, the world’s first encapsulated biodegradable lubricant for drilling fluids designed to deliver high-grade lubricant precisely at the point of friction where and when needed most. At the same time, the company announced its intent to offer $100M in aggregate principal notes due in 2019 and...

BioAmber’s Sarnia Plant Operating At Commercial Scale

Jim Lane Ultra-secret yeast tech also exceeding expectations in yield, productivity and quality, BioAmber reports. Baby Sarnia checks in at 60 million pounds, no ounces, doing fine. In Canada, BioAmber’s (BIOA) Sarnia joint venture with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. has begun shipping bio-succinic acid to customers and is operating its manufacturing process at commercial scale, meeting a significant company milestone, the company said. Yeast biotechnology exceeds performance targets BioAmber has confirmed the performance of its proprietary yeast in the production fermenters in Sarnia. The fermentation performance achieved is significantly above the initial targets set for...

Corbion Bids To Acquire TerraVia

Corbion Bids To Acquire TerraVia In California, Corbion has made a $20M stalking horse stock and asset purchase bid for TerraVia (TRVA). The purchase agreement provides TerraVia with a binding bid of $20 million in cash along with the assumption of certain liabilities, which is subject to higher or otherwise better offers. As part of the transaction, Corbion will be assuming the ongoing financial obligations of the business and its joint venture ownership, therefore the total financial commitment is expected to be in excess of the cash purchase price. Through this proposed transaction, TerraVia employees, who bring with them a wide...

Amyris’ Mysterious Partner

Jim Lane In California, Amyris (AMRS) has a new partner, described fetchingly yet with near-to-complete vagueness as a “a leader in food ingredients and nutraceuticals” which is roughly as helpful as describing a person as “someone who enjoys ice cream”. Some ice cream there is, nevertheless, in this agreement, which will bring a short-term collaboration investment of $10 million, an equity investment of up to $20 million at $1.40 per share, and $100 million in annual revenue starting in 2017 connected to the production and cost improvement of fermentation molecules. One thing, and the only one, we discover...

Bioplastics Maker Avantium’s IPO Plans

Jim Lane Here’s our 10-minute version of the filing, slightly re-organized to make sense to Earthlings instead of aliens from the Planet Prospectus. In the Netherlands, bioplastics maker Avantium is planning an initial public offering and listing of all shares on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels. The company expects to raise up to €100 million (USD$106 million) and complete the offering by the end of the current quarter. More than half of the offering has already been secured via commitments from cornerstone investors. Avantium’s YXY technology converts plant-based sugar into chemicals and plastics, including 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, a precursor...

The Velocity of Amyris

Jim Lane What makes Amyris (AMRS), Amyris? We look at the products, the evolution of the story, the partners, the focus on yield, and deeper into the story of Rate. “I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” “Whither goest thou?” echoed Dean with his mouth open. We sat and didn’t know what to say; there was nothing to talk about any more. The only thing to do was go.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road Amyris experienced last month what CEO John Melo referred to as “our...

Amyris’ Date With Destiny: Better Late Than Never

Jim Lane Amyris was dismissed by the critics some time ago, but is ately continuing a big comeback. We have become so accustomed to receiving obituaries of Amyris (AMRS) that recently I was inspired to re-read the Devotions of John Donne to discover if, in fact, he wrote, “Send not to know for Whom the Bell Tolls, it Tolls for Amyris.” Amyris, we were recently assured by short-sellers, was as dead as a doornail, just as Jacob Marley was reputed to be in the opening stave of A Christmas Carol and it is therefore...

Dyadic Sells Industrial Technology Business To Dupont

Jim Lane As Dyadic cashes out of industrial biotech and retains a C1 license for pharma, DSM and Syngenta also announce a partnership. Companies are girding their loins for the long haul. The Digest takes a look, In Florida, DuPont (DD) Industrial Biosciences will acquire substantially all of the enzyme and technology assets Dyadic’s (DYAI) Industrial Technology business for $75 million, including Dyadic’s C1 platform, a technology for producing enzyme products used in a broad range of industries. DuPont has granted back to Dyadic co-exclusive rights to the C1 technology for use in human and animal pharmaceutical...

Gevo Begins To Ship Missing Link For 100% Renewable Plastic Bottles

Jim Lane From Colorado, news has arrived that Gevo (GEVO) is now selling paraxyleme to Toray (TRYIF), one of the world’s leading producers of fibers, plastics, films, and chemicals. It’s producing PX from isobutanol, one of its three molecules in production (the others are jet fuel and iso-ocrane) at its complex in Silsbee, Texas. Toray expects to produce fibers, yarns, and films from Gevo’s PX. While any new molecule attached to a major customer relationship is always big news for any producer this has special significance. Let’s review exactly why....