Metabolix, Inc., an advanced biomaterials company, focuses on delivering sustainable solutions to the plastics industry. The company has core capabilities in microbial genetics, fermentation process engineering, chemical engineering, polymer science, plant genetics and botanical science. The company has focused on a family of biopolymers found in nature called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which occur naturally in living organisms and are chemically similar to polyesters. Strategy The key elements of the company’s strategy include proprietary biopolymers and biopolymer formulations; managing existing inventory; matching manufacturing capacity to customer demand; transitioning to the specialties commercial launch phase; marketing positioning and technical support; microbial research and process development; leading intellectual property position; and dvancing crop biotechnology. Biopolymers Platform The company is focused on building a specialty polymers business based on the properties of its PHA biopolymers. The company is targeting market opportunities driven by the important value-adding role its biopolymers could play as components of other material systems. The company is intensifying its efforts in product and application development and working with customers across a range of applications at various stages in the development process, from initial data demonstration, through product and process validation, larger scale trials and purchase decisions. Performance Additives: The company is developing PHA biopolymers as performance additives. The company is initially focused on developing polymeric modifiers for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic with various uses ranging from construction materials to medical applications and an estimated global demand of approximately 38 million metric tons per year. The company is developing biobased polymeric modifiers for rigid, semi-rigid and flexible PVC compounds. The company has shown that its polymeric modifiers could provide toughness, plasticization and permanence in addition to improving processing when added to PVC. The company is also working with customers to develop applications that use its PHA performance additives to upgrade the physical properties, processing, and value of PVC recyclate in the production of construction materials containing recycled PVC in place of virgin PVC. In addition to the company’s efforts in PVC, it is developing PHA polymeric modifiers suitable for improving the performance of other polymers. Polylactic acid (PLA) is the major biobased, compostable polyester on the market and is used in application areas, such as food and consumer product packaging, food service ware, film and textiles. The company has conducted development work around toughening and improved ductility of PLA. Coatings for Paper and Cardboard: PHA barrier coatings being developed by the company are derived from renewable raw materials, and like its other PHA products, are compostable, marine biodegradable, and anaerobically digestible and perform comparably to the polyethylene coatings commonly used. The company is continuing to develop technology to apply PHA-based barrier coatings to paper and cardboard based on the promising market potential in this area. Marine Biodegradable Micropowders: The company is developing PHA-based alternatives to replace the non-biodegradable plastics used in these applications with PHA micropowders that are both biobased and marine biodegradable. In 2015, the company entered into a global, exclusive commercial and technology alliance with Honeywell International, Inc. (Honeywell) to offer new marine biodegradable biopolymers for use in cosmetics and personal care products. Through the alliance, the company’s PHA biopolymers would be developed as part of Honeywell’s line of personal care additives to help address pending legislation focused on replacing synthetic, non-biodegradable microbeads, as well as global demand for biobased and biodegradable alternatives. Functional Biodegradation: The company’s biopolymers are biobased materials for applications requiring functional biodegradation. Its PHA biopolym
metabolix inc (MBLX:NASDAQ CM)
21 Erie Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
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