Amyris Joins List of 2018 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area


The San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal pulled together to create a list of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area. Hitting the list at number 23 for large companies is biotechnology company Amyris.

Headquartered in Emeryville, California, the company also has Brazilian operations in Campinas. The company engineers yeast for a variety of products. Its first product was a proprietary process that converts plant sugars into an alternative, lower cost, stable supply of artemisinin, an effective drug against malaria. Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the primary first-line treatment for malaria.

Noting that World Malaria Day was April 25th, the company observed in a blog post that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was part of the company’s development. A group of scientists had developed tech that could create a cure for malaria and they wanted to develop the treatments and give the patented technology away. They took their proposal to the Foundation, which agreed. “This brought scientists together from Amyris, UC Berkeley, Sanofi and the Institute for OneWorld Health to produce millions of medications and find a way to distribute them where needed most.”

The company also provides plant sugar-derived ingredients for cosmetics, fragrance, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Its Biossance brand, for example, developed bio-fermented squalane from sugarcane. Squalane is a highly stable and effective skin moisturizer. Before this development, squalane was harvested from shark liver.

In terms of the award, the company notes, “We provide Monday morning bagels, Tuesday-Thursday hot/catered lunch, unlimited cereal/snacks/drinks and Friday night happy hours.”

The company pays 100 percent employee benefits and 90 percent for spouses, partners and children. On January 1, 2018, it launched unlimited paid time off for salary employees, 16 weeks paid maternity/paternity leave for hourly and salary employees, which includes adoptions, 10 sick days, and protected unpaid time off if employed less than one but.

The company also says, “We also added weekly guided meditation, weekly boot camp, weekly yoga. We have a free on-site gym, a commuter program and free parking.”

On March 15, it released its fourth-quarter earnings, with fourth-quarter revenue of $80.6 million, up dramatically from $22.2 million in the same quarter the year before. Net loss for the year was $72.08 million, down from the previous year’s $119.5 million.

“We’ve completed another record year and a very strong fourth quarter,” said John Melo, Amyris’ president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We’ve exceeded our key targets for 2017 and have started 2018 with continued strong growth in revenues and operating performance. We have completed the transformation of our company into one of the leading global companies focused on making our planet healthier. We have organized around three core markets—Performance Health and Wellness, Clean Skin-Care, and Pure Flavor & Fragrance Ingredients. Each of these markets is delivering strong, profitable growth underpinned by the most advantaged technology in the sector.”

As a sign of that growth, Amyris has numerous job postings in a variety areas, including Associate Scientist, Process Analytical Chemistry, Postgres Data Architect, and Data Scientist, Scientific Computing.

The company also has job openings in Brazil.

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