OPXBIO Rapidly Achieves BioAcrylic Commercial Goals
BOULDER, CO -- 02/14/11 -- OPX Biotechnologies Inc. (OPXBIO), a renewable chemical and biofuel company, today announced that it has achieved the commercial bioprocess performance and cost goals for its first product, BioAcrylic. In just 18 months of pilot-scale development, OPXBIO has demonstrated a manufacturing process for making performance-equivalent BioAcrylic that is lower cost and more sustainable than petroleum-based acrylic.
Based on its pilot process results, OPXBIO achieved a commercial-scale manufacturing cost of 70 cents-per-pound for its BioAcrylic using corn sugar feedstock or 55 cents-per-pound using cane sugar feedstock in Brazil. The production cost for petroleum-based acrylic is on the rise and is currently estimated to be 75 cents-per-pound. The company's pilot process achieved 79 percent production yield generating 70 grams-per-liter bioproduct concentration in 26-hour fermentations. During the next stage of larger demonstration-scale production, the company expects to further improve the BioAcrylic process toward its ultimate manufacturing cost target of 50 cents-per-pound using corn sugar and less than 40 cents-per-pound using cane sugar.
"By completing development of the pilot-scale process to make BioAcrylic at lower cost than petroleum-based acrylic, OPXBIO has achieved a key milestone and validated the power of its proprietary EDGE technology," said Charles R. (Chas) Eggert, president and CEO of OPXBIO. "We completed this milestone with high speed and capital efficiency that is unprecedented in the bio-based chemical industry. We are now moving to larger demonstration-scale processing with the plan to begin commercial-scale BioAcrylic production in 2014."
OPXBIO uses its proprietary Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering (EDGE) technology to engineer high-performing microbes and bioprocesses faster and better than is possible with conventional methods. Its BioAcrylic will directly replace petroleum-based acrylic in the existing $8 billion global market. Acrylic is used to make consumer and industrial products such as diapers, detergents, paints and adhesives.
"Utilizing the OPXBIO EDGE technology, we were able to rapidly engineer a microbe and bioprocess with unparalleled performance," said Dr. Michael Lynch, chief scientific officer and co-founder of OPXBIO. "Based on our pilot-scale results, the microbe and bioprocess are able to produce BioAcrylic at high rates and yields with the robustness required for a profitable commercial-scale business."
OPXBIO uses its proprietary leading EDGE (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to manufacture renewable bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return, and more sustainable than existing petro-based products. With unprecedented speed and capital efficiency, in just 18 months OPXBIO has developed and piloted the microbe and bioprocess that will produce its first renewable chemical product -- BioAcrylic -- at lower cost than petro-acrylic with a 75% reduction in green house gas emissions. The company's second product is diesel fuel bio-processed from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. 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 http://www.opxbio.com.