Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX), an innovation-driven performance biomaterials company delivering sustainable solutions to the plastics, chemicals and energy industries, today announced that Chief Scientific Officer Oliver Peoples, Ph.D. will present the Company’s strategy for its polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-based biopolymers and biobased chemicals platform. This presentation will include new data on the successful conversion of second generation cellulosic sugars to PHA precursors for the production of PHA biopolymers and biobased chemicals, including C3 (bio-acrylic) and C4 chemicals.
Dr. Peoples’ presentation at the Ecochem Conference in Basel, Switzerland is scheduled for Thursday, November 21 at 4:15 p.m. (CET). The data presented by Dr. Peoples will demonstrate for the first time that microbes designed by Metabolix researchers can produce targeted PHAs through fermentation at a virtually identical growth rate and yield using cellulosic sugars as feedstock as compared to using first generation corn-based industrial sugar. This data highlights the robust nature of the microbial strains engineered by Metabolix, and the potential to use alternative, renewable feedstocks for conversion in commercial scale fermentation.
“The findings we will report suggest that our microbial strains for producing biopolymers and biobased chemicals are extremely robust and flexible on the feedstocks they can use. Even without any additional genetic modification, the Company’s production organisms can effectively use second generation cellulosic sugar as a feedstock,” said Dr. Peoples. “The significance of this finding is that it is now clear that our PHA technology provides us with the flexibility to use a range of first generation industrial sugars, as well as second generation cellulosic sugars, and in the long-term gives us another way to manage the cost of raw material inputs.”
In this study evaluating a range of renewable feedstocks, Metabolix utilized cellulosic sugar provided by a leading developer of wood-based cellulosic sugars. Metabolix plans to continue investigating alternative feedstocks for the production of PHA biopolymers and biobased chemicals.
The research described at Ecochem by Dr. Peoples represents a significant technological milestone achieved in 2013 by Metabolix in its Chemicals platform. In addition, Metabolix recently reported the ability to recover ultra-high purity bio-GBL from fermentation broth and has shown that its fermentation process can be adapted to produce deuterated biobased chemicals.
Metabolix, Inc. is an advanced biomaterials company that is well positioned to address growing market demand for sustainable solutions in the plastics, chemicals and energy industries. The Company is developing and commercializing a family of high-performance biopolymers targeted to the markets for film and bag applications, performance additives and functional biodegradation. Metabolix’s biobased chemicals platform is focused on high-value segments and applications using its novel “FAST” recovery process. The Company also is developing a platform for co-producing plastics, chemicals and energy from crops. Metabolix has established an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio that, together with its knowledge of advanced industrial practice, provides a foundation for industry collaborations.