Verdezyne, Inc., a privately-held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, today announced it has reached an agreement with Bio-XCell Malaysia to construct Verdezyne’s first commercial-scale renewable chemicals manufacturing facility in Bio-XCell’s premier biotechnology and ecosystem park in Nusajaya, Iskandar, in southern Malaysia. With construction scheduled to commence in 2015, the plant will be capable of producing approximately 30 million pounds per year of diacids, including dodecanedioic acid (DDDA), and will be the world’s first bio-based plant for the production of DDDA. The exchange of agreement ceremony took place during the official opening ceremony of “BioMalaysia: Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2014 Conference & Exhibition,” and was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“We are thrilled, and are eagerly anticipating breaking ground in the near future on this major new manufacturing plant for the production of renewable diacids.”
“This agreement is part of our comprehensive strategy of expansion into Asia, and represents a huge step toward our goal of replacing petroleum-derived chemicals with renewable drop-in replacements,” commented E. William Radany, Ph.D., President and CEO of Verdezyne. “We are thrilled, and are eagerly anticipating breaking ground in the near future on this major new manufacturing plant for the production of renewable diacids.”
The multi-faceted agreement includes:
- Leasing a 6.9-acre site owned by Bio-XCell in Malaysia’s premier biotechnology park located in Nusajaya, Iskandar, Malaysia, 30 minutes’ north of Singapore. The 13-year, renewable lease provides for expansion options on other adjacent lots, and all major utilities will be supplied by Bio-XCell.
- A loan of approximately $75 Million (approximately RM 250 Million) from Bio-XCell.
“We are happy to welcome Verdezyne to the Park. The investments related to building Verdezyne’s new factory here will bring the total investment into Bio-XCell to RM250 million, and with a couple more companies in the pipeline, we expect to have secured RM1.86 billion [approximately $555 Million] in investment by year-end. The investments will further augur and strengthen the value proposition of the Bio-XCell ecosystem as a regional hub for industrial biomanufacturing and bioprocessing,” said Rizatuddin Ramli, Chief Executive Officer of Bio-XCell Malaysia.
“We are proud of our successes with our Malaysian partners, who recognize the strong value proposition we bring to the table,” added Dr. Radany. “To review, in June of last year we reached a collaboration agreement with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, and in September of last year we were awarded BioNexus Status by the Malaysian government. In April of this year we secured $30 Million in financing from Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby, and our signing ceremony was attended by none other than President Barack Obama. As rewarding as our projects in Malaysia have been thus far, though, we feel that the best is yet to come.”
The manufacturing facility will leverage Verdezyne’s yeast fermentation technology with the abundant supplies of non-food, plant-based feedstocks in Malaysia to produce a variety of commercial diacids, including DDDA. These diacids may in turn be used to produce nylon or other polymers for use in a variety of applications including: engineering resins, automotive parts, athletic apparel, carpeting and toothbrush bristles, at lower cost than traditional, petroleum-derived nylons.
Verdezyne is an industrial biotechnology company using proven and proprietary metabolic pathway engineering tools to develop unique yeast strains for cost-effective production of bio-based chemicals. Current investors in Verdezyne include BP Ventures, DSM Venturing B.V., OVP Venture Partners, Monitor Ventures and Sime Darby. For more information, visit www.verdezyne.com.
Bio-XCell, a biotechnology park and ecosystem dedicated to healthcare and industrial biotechnology is being developed by Malaysian Bio-XCellSdnBhd, a joint venture company formed between Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation and property developer UEM Sunrise Berhad in 2009.
Bio-XCell is strategically located on 160 acres in Nusajaya, within the Iskandar region of Johor, Malaysia, and close to the border with Singapore providing global connectivity through a network of five seaports and two international airports, all within 59 km. Bio-XCell offers an environment conducive for the development and manufacturing of biologics, pharmaceuticals, bio-based/ green chemicals and other solutions to heal, fuel and green the world.
As a managed park, Bio-XCell will provide its clients and investors with a range of value added benefits including comprehensive infrastructure, high speed internet access, park maintenance and security as well as core facilities to nurture the ecosystem. Key facilities of the park include the Bio-XCell Sentral Hub and Central Utilities Facility (CUF).
Bio-XCell aspires to be a catalyst in biotechnology ecosystem in Iskandar Malaysia, with some 3,000 job opportunities expected to be created from its operation in the park. For more details or leasing inquiries, visit: www.bio-xcell.my