23 September 2020

Amyris Scales First Fermentation-Based Cannabinoid

Product margins are anticipated to operate above the current industry average realized by existing publicly traded CBD suppliers

Amyris, Inc., a leading synthetic biotechnology company in Clean Health and Beauty markets through its consumer brands, and a top supplier of sustainable and natural ingredients, today announced that it has successfully scaled up the commercial production of Cannabigerol (CBG) leveraging its industrial fermentation process capability.

Amyris expects to deliver about one ton of high purity CBG through fermentation as an alternative to the traditional production method of extraction from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. First commercial revenue from the sale of this molecule is anticipated this year as an ingredient in applications that are excluded from Amyris’s current collaboration agreements. Product margins are anticipated to operate above the current industry average realized by existing publicly traded CBD suppliers.

CBG is the precursor from which all other cannabinoids are synthesized and is often referred to as the “stem cell” of cannabinoids. CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and presents significant therapeutic potential, making it a subject of great interest for researchers and consumers alike. Amyris’s fermentation process is well-positioned to result in the lowest cost CBG with higher purity (no THC), which is expected to unlock CBG’s adoption.

Early testing on skin models demonstrates advantaged performance of CBG for various topical indications over CBD. Furthermore, the combination of CBG with Amyris’s sugar cane-based squalene provides some of the highest efficacy results for topical applications. Early studies indicate that CBG has the potential to deliver better efficacy than CBD in about one third of current CBD topical applications.

“Amyris’s biotechnology platform continues to demonstrate its capability to engineer yeast to create and produce differentiated high value products. This molecule was developed from initial target to full scale production in less than nine months,” said Eduardo Alvarez, Chief Operating Officer.

“We are very excited about the disruptive nature of this molecule for potential skin care applications and through flavor and fragrance partnerships and our cosmetic distribution channels,” commented John Melo, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is the tenth product we deliver at scale through our fermentation platform, and reaffirms the continued expansion of our portfolio and our growth ambition to provide sustainably and economically produced natural ingredients.”

Source: Amyris Inc., press release, 2020-09-01.

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