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Amyris Rises on Total Funding for Biofuels: San Francisco Mover

Amyris Inc., the biotechnology company 21 percent-owned by Total SA, rose the most in two weeks after the French oil company agreed to fund development of renewable diesel and jet fuels.

Amyris, based in Emeryville, California, increased 9.3 percent to $3.87 at the close in New York, the most since July 17.

Total will provide $30 million this quarter and may contribute more in mid-2013 and 2014, Amyris said today in a statement. Total agreed to provide as much as $82 million over three years, and the companies plan to form a joint venture to market the biofuel products.

The deal expands on a research partnership the two companies established in 2010, after Total invested in Amyris, and reaffirms plans for the joint venture announced last year. The gains trim the company’s loss this year to 66 percent and give it a market value of $218 million.

Amyris uses genetically modified microorganisms to convert plant-sourced sugars into farnesene, a hydrocarbon that can be processed into fuels or specialty chemicals.

Chief Executive Officer John Melo said in February that lower-value products with large markets, including fuels and lubricants, would be commercialized with joint venture partners Total and Cosan SA Industria e Comercio. It said in May it would scale back production to focus on farnesene-derived products that have higher selling prices.

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