Total-Backed Amyris Gets $11 Million for Research on Farnesene

Amyris Inc., the biotechnology company partially owned by Total SA, received almost $11 million from France’s largest oil producer to continue researching the chemical compound farnesene.

The debt taken on by Emeryville, California-based Amyris came from convertible notes, Joel Velasco, a company spokesman, said today in an e-mail.

Total, Amyris’s largest shareholder, owned almost 21 percent of Amyris as of May 29, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Amyris deploys genetically modified microorganisms to convert plant sugars into fragrance oils or farnesene, a hydrocarbon used to make specialty chemicals or fuels.

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