DSM invests $25 million in bioscience company

by Jeff Gelski
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Amyris converts plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules to produce specialty ingredients and consumer products.
 

HEERLEN, THE NETHERLANDS, and EMERYVILLE, CALIF. — Royal DSM has agreed to make an initial equity investment of $25 million in Amyris, Inc., an industrial bioscience company, which will translate into a shareholding of about 12%, the two companies said May 8. Heerlen-based DSM and Emeryville-based Amyrise also will enter into a development cooperation focused on products for the global health and nutrition markets, including vitamins and other nutritional ingredients.

Chris Goppelsroeder, president and c.e.o. of DSM Nutritional Products

“Amyris has a unique yeast-based strained engineering platform that is very complementary to DSM’s capabilities in this area and will create great synergy with DSM’s know-how in fermentation, downstream process development and large-scale manufacturing,” said Chris Goppelsroeder, president and chief executive officer of DSM Nutritional Products. “Working closely together with Amyris and leveraging DSM’s route-to-market will accelerate our innovation towards cost-effective, fermentation-based processes for both existing and new products.”

Subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, DSM may invest an additional $25 million in Amyris. The first tranche is expected to close on May 11. A second tranche, if approved by DSM’s managing board, would close within 90 days of the closing of the first tranche. DSM will gain one board seat upon the closing of each tranche.

The two companies plan to focus on a number of short-term to medium-term production opportunities in vitamins and other nutritional ingredients.

John Melo, president and c.e.o. of Amyris

“We are very excited about DSM’s strategic focus in health and nutrition markets and its commitment to sustainable sourcing and production of better-performing products,” said John Melo, president and c.e.o. of Amyris. “The Amyris technology platform and potential synergy can lead to significant cost improvements for DSM while accelerating Amyris’s market access. We expect this will lead to incremental revenue in 2017, growing annually based on the number of products we develop in our partnership and our pace of delivery.”

DSM already has fermentation expertise, such as in using it to develop steviol glycosides as sweeteners. Fermentation technology will be part of the work done in a new DSM biotechnology facility that opened in Delft, The Netherlands, on April 3. 
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