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OPX Biotechnologies Commercializing Renewable Bioacrylic


2/9/2010 10:40:26 AM

SAN DIEGO, CA and BOULDER, CO--(Marketwire - February 09, 2010) - OPX Biotechnologies, Inc. (OPXBIO), a renewable biochemical and biofuel company, today announced that it is progressing faster than plan in developing a commercial process for producing bioacrylic. Since beginning pilot scale development six months ago, the OPXBIO team has reduced bioacrylic production cost by 85 percent toward the commercial target of $0.50 per pound. The company used its proprietary EDGE™ (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to rapidly develop a microbe and bioprocess that, when fully optimized, will produce bioacrylic at the rate, concentration, and yield needed for full commercialization. Today, petroleum-based acrylic is an $8 billion global market. It is used in a range of industrial and consumer products, including paints, adhesives, diapers and detergents.

"OPXBIO's goal is to compete with petroleum-based chemicals and fuels on both quality and price," said President and Chief Executive Officer of OPXBIO, Charles R. Eggert (Chas). "We used our EDGE technology to rapidly develop a bioprocess that, when operated at commercial scale will produce bioacrylic equivalent in performance and cost to petroleum-based acrylic. Our results validate our microbial and bioprocess engineering capabilities and bolster confidence that we will achieve our performance and cost goals by year-end 2010."

Eggert communicated news of OPXBIO's accelerated progress on its bioacrylic process development during a presentation today at the Bio-Based Chemicals Summit being held in San Diego.

The pilot scale bioacrylic process demonstration to be completed in 2010 will confirm commercial cost and performance viability as well as produce bioacrylic for downstream customers to test for quality and performance. With successful completion of its pilot scale development this year, OPXBIO is planning a demonstration facility in 2011 and its first commercial plant in 2013.

"We have always been very confident that OPXBIO's genome engineering technology called EDGE, would allow us to develop commercially viable microbes faster than the traditional approaches," said Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of OPXBIO, Dr. Michael Lynch. "The fact that we were able to reduce the effective cost of our bioacrylic by more than 85 percent in just six months of pilot work confirms the power of EDGE."

Based on the success of its development efforts, OPXBIO has retained Merrick & Company to design its demonstration and commercial manufacturing plants, which will become operational in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

"We are pleased to be working with OPXBIO on the development of its potentially game-changing biochemicals technology," said President and Chief Executive Officer of Merrick, Ralph Christie.

About Merrick & Company

Merrick & Company is an engineering, architecture, design-build, surveying, and geospatial solutions firm serving domestic and international clients in the energy, security, life sciences, and infrastructure markets. Merrick has eight U.S. offices, one in Canada and two in Mexico. The firm's highly regarded Fuels and Energy Group specializes in the commercialization of next generation biofuels and biochemicals technologies.

About OPXBIO

OPXBIO is a Colorado-based company using biotechnology to convert renewable raw materials into biochemicals and biofuels. Applying its EDGE™ (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology, OPXBIO will manufacture bio-based products that are more economical and sustainable than petroleum-based alternatives. OPXBIO has already demonstrated laboratory-scale production of several different biochemicals and biofuels using renewable biomass as well as carbon dioxide and hydrogen feedstock. The company currently is producing bioacrylic at pilot scale in advance of opening a demonstration plant in 2011 and a full-scale commercial plant in 2013. The company also is developing strategic partnerships and joint ventures for commercialization. OPXBIO has raised $22.4 million with venture investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Altira Group, and X/Seed Capital.

For more information, visit www.opxbiotechnologies.com.


Media Contact:
Lisa Hempel
Cohn Marketing
303.839.1415 ext. 52
Email Contact

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