Flagship VentureLabs Launches Midori Renewables
New Venture is Commercializing a Novel Catalytic Process to Convert Non-Food
Biomass Into Sugar
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 4, 2013
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Flagship VentureLabs announced
today that Midori Renewables is globally deploying their Breaking the Biomass
Barrier™ technology, a novel catalyst that melts non-food biomass into low
cost sugar, enabling the production of many valuable renewable products and
animal feed. Midori's catalyst is a solid material, not an enzyme,
micro-organism, or aqueous acid, that can be easily separated from the
reaction and reused, resulting in a significantly lower cost solution than
"We evaluated hundreds of technologies before we invented our own solid
catalyst, which is truly an innovative way to produce ultra low cost sugars
for sustainable bio-based products," said Dr. Brian Baynes, Founder and
Chairman of Midori and Partner at Flagship VentureLabs. "People have been
trying to cost-effectively break down cellulose in biomass for more than 100
years, and we have finally done it." Midori's technology has been shown to be
effective on a variety of biomass feedstocks and can bolt-on to existing corn,
sugarcane or palm oil processing facilities, converting low value cellulosic
waste into high value, usable sugars.
Over the past 12 months, Midori has been testing its technology in a range of
markets including, renewable fuels, renewable chemicals, food/feed, and
consumer goods materials, converting biomass into sugar at costs as low as
pennies per pound. Midori has already been issued two foundational U.S.
patents on its catalyst technology and has more than 10 additional families of
patents pending worldwide. The company will begin constructing a commercial
demonstration facility in 2014 and is currently in partnering discussions with
several engineering, procurement and construction firms to build the plant.
Midori is assembling a world class leadership team led by Daniel Trunfio,
President and Chief Executive Officer. "Midori has made a significant
technology breakthrough, one of the most substantial I have seen in my three
decades in the oil and gas industry," said Mr. Trunfio. "I am very excited to
be leading Midori into its next phase of growth."
Mr. Trunfio has 30 years of domestic and international experience in the oil
and renewable fuels industries. He began his professional career with Royal
Dutch Shell Petroleum Company in 1984 and held increasing leadership roles
including Vice President and General Manager and led the development and
implementation of Shell's bio-fuel strategies and operations worldwide. Mr.
Trunfio also held senior positions in trading, supply chain management,
marketing and operations.
Midori was founded within Flagship VentureLabs, the innovation foundry of
Flagship Ventures. Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship
Ventures, is on the Board of Directors. "Midori follows a growing list of
disruptive ventures emerging from our VentureLabs unit," said Dr. Afeyan.
"Our technology breakthrough has been well validated and our patented biomass
conversion process promises to transform the biomass based fuels and chemicals
industry in a major way."
Midori has also assembled a scientific advisory board that includes renowned
experts Dr. Charlie Wyman, Ford Motor Company, Chair and Professor of Chemical
& Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Riverside; Dr.
Richard Bailey, former CEO of Microbia Inc.; and Dr. Leo Manzer, a former
DuPont executive and DuPont Technical Fellow.
About Midori Renewables
Midori Renewables is globally deploying their Breaking the Biomass Barrier™
technology that melts and digests biomass into sugars with a solid, recyclable
catalyst. This catalyst technology will transform the entire value chain for
converting cellulosic biomass to high-quality sugars. Midori's breakthrough
technology overcomes the limitations of traditional fuels and chemicals
derived from fossil fuels and from food biomass sources. The technology has
already been shown to be effective on a variety of biomass feedstocks and the
company will begin constructing a commercial demonstration facility in 2014.
For more information, please visit www.midorirenewables.com.
About Flagship VentureLabs
Flagship VentureLabs™ is the innovation foundry of Flagship Ventures.
VentureLabs has been creating innovative, game changing companies since its
founding in 2000. It is the first institution dedicated to entrepreneurial
innovation and parallel entrepreneuring, where the acts of technology
invention and entrepreneuring are performed in concert by a team of
world-class innovators and professional entrepreneurs. The VentureLabs team
innovates, invents, iterates, founds and builds startups using a unique,
systematic approach that results in the creation of best-in-class new
ventures. More than 25 life science and technology startups have been created
within VentureLabs, including recently launched Joule Unlimited, Moderna
Therapeutics, Pronutria and Seres Health. For more information, please visit
About Flagship Ventures
Realizing entrepreneurial innovation is the mission of Flagship Ventures. The
firm operates through two synergistic units: VentureLabs™ which invents and
launches transformative companies, and Venture Capital, which finances and
develops innovative, early-stage companies. Founded in 2000, and based in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Flagship Ventures manages over $900 million in
capital. The Flagship team is active in three principal business sectors:
therapeutics, health technologies and sustainability/clean technology. Past
successful Flagship portfolio companies include: Accuri Cytometers (acquired
by Becton, Dickinson and Company), Adnexus (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb),
Hypnion (acquired by Eli Lilly), Agios (NASDAQ: AGIO), AVEO (NASDAQ: AVEO), BG
Medicine (NASDAQ: BGMD), Receptos (NASDAQ: RCPT), Tetraphase (NASDAQ: TTPH),
and Morphotek (acquired by Eisai). Additional notable portfolio companies
include: Affinnova, BIND Therapeutics, Joule Unlimited, Quanterix, and Moderna
Therapeutics. For more information, please visit www.flagshipventures.com.
For Flagship Ventures:Rachel Brenner
SOURCE Flagship Ventures
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