Amyris and Kuraray Expand Collaboration in Farnesene-Based Polymers
EMERYVILLE, Calif. and TOKYO, March 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amyris, Inc.
(Nasdaq:AMRS), the leading synthetic biology innovator and renewable products
company, and Kuraray Co., Ltd. (TSE:3405), a pioneering global chemical
products company with a long history of commercializing a range of resins,
fibers, textiles and other materials, announced today the expansion and
extension of their ongoing collaboration in high performance polymers using
Biofene®, Amyris's brand of renewable farnesene.
"Kuraray has been a strong collaboration partner over the last two years, and
I welcome our expanding work together in developing and commercializing high
performance materials from Biofene," said John Melo, President & CEO of
Amyris. "Based on the positive feedback from tire manufacturers for Liquid
Farnesene Rubber, we remain confident that Biofene will play a critical role
in improving the sustainability of the tire industry. We are also encouraged
that with Kuraray in Japan we are launching a new category of elastomers made
from Biofene," added Melo.
Under the transaction agreements, the parties have extended the duration of
the research and development portion of their collaboration for at least two
more years. The parties also reaffirmed their commercialization goals by
expanding types of, and fields of use for, Kuraray polymer products containing
Biofene. As detailed in the agreement, Amyris will receive an undisclosed
amount of collaboration funding over the next two years, and Kuraray will
purchase approximately $4 million of Amyris's common stock in April of this
"Our joint technical progress in the last two years has been tremendous, and
we are optimistic about the commercialization of farnesene-based polymers with
Amyris in the near future and our expanded ongoing collaboration to new
polymer products, including viscosity index improvers, sealants, and
adhesives," said Tomoyuki Aya, Senior Executive Officer of Kuraray. "And, as
Amyris shares our commitment to develop pioneering technology, I'm pleased
that Kuraray has agreed to make a capital investment in Amyris," Aya added.
Amyris and Kuraray launched their collaboration in 2011 with an initial focus
on using Biofene-based polymers to replace petroleum-derived feedstocks in
tires. During this time, Kuraray has developed Biofene-based liquid rubber
(LFR) that reacts with tire rubber more easily than traditional materials and
strengthens adhesion of rubber components to improve tire shape, stability,
and performance. Today, leading tire manufacturers are conducting field,
safety and performance tests of Kuraray's Biofene-based liquid rubber in their
tire formulations with a number of these tests nearing conclusion. Also,
during this period, Kuraray produced and began customer sampling and product
evaluation for a new category of elastomers, Hydrogenated Styrenic Farnesene
Copolymer (HSFC), which have shown to have improved flow properties and low
residual strain, opening opportunities for vibration dampening product
About the Companies
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 molecules -- flexible building blocks that can be used in a
wide range of products. Amyris's initial portfolio of commercial products is
based on Biofene®, Amyris's brand of renewable farnesene, a long-chain
hydrocarbon. 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 commercialization of Amyris's production in Brazil. For more
information, visit the company's website at www.amyris.com.
Kuraray was established in 1926. In 1950, the company achieved a corporate
milestone as the first in the world to bring polyvinyl alcohol synthetic fiber
to market. In subsequent years, Kuraray used its proprietary technology in the
area of polymer chemistry and synthetic chemistry to develop resins,
chemicals, fibers and textiles, and other products for use in a wide variety
of end applications. Kuraray has overseas subsidiaries in 19 countries. For
more information, visit the company's website at www.kuraray.co.jp/en.
Amyris Forward-Looking Statements
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 the anticipated activities under
and benefits of a collaboration, the closing of a sale of Amyris equity,
commercialization of farnesene-based polymers, and the role of farnesene in
improving the sustainability of the tire industry) 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 and commercialization of products, liquidity and
ability to fund capital expenditures, Amyris's reliance on third parties to
achieve its goals, and other risks detailed in the "Risk Factors" section of
Amyris's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed on November 5, 2013. 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, the Amyris logo, Biofene and No Compromise are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Amyris, Inc.
CONTACT: Amyris, Inc.
Kuraray Co., Ltd.
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