US Amyris wins deal to expand industrial synthetic bio-tech platform

12 June 2012 18:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Amyris has been awarded an $8m (€6.4m) contract in the US to expand its industrial synthetic biology technology platform, the US-based renewable chemicals firm said on Tuesday.

Amyris said under the contract from the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) it will develop tools that can expand the scope of its industrial synthetic biology technology platform across various biological platforms and cell types.

"Amyris's cutting edge technology platform has been used to produce a life-saving anti-malarial drug as well as renewable fuels and chemicals,” said CEO John Melo.

“In support of DARPA's 'Living Foundries' programme, we will leverage our technology expertise to develop improved DNA assembly and rapid integration across complex biological platforms," Melo said.

The contract is conditional on certain technical milestones Amyris must meet, it said without disclosing details.

DARPA’s Living Foundries programme seeks to develop new tools, technologies and methodologies to transform biology into an engineering practice.

“Transforming biology into an engineering practice would enable on-demand production of new and high-value materials, devices and capabilities for the Department of Defense and address complex challenges that today have no or few solutions,” according to information on the agency's website.

Current approaches to engineering biology rely on an ad hoc, laborious and expensive trial-and-error process, wherein one successful project often does not translate into enabling subsequent new designs, DARPA said.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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