Amyris biobased squalane to hit Japanese cosmetic market

By Bryan Sims | August 22, 2011

Emeryville, Calif.-based Amyris Inc. has signed a multi-year supply agreement for several hundred tons of its renewable squalane with Nikko Chemicals Co. Ltd. for distribution in the Japanese market.

Squalane, a high-end moisturizing ingredient used in a range of cosmetics, is traditionally sourced from shark liver or refined olive oil. Amyris’ squalane, which is produced using its renewable platform building block farnesene—trademarked Biofene—is made using sugarcane of high purity and has better stability. According to Amyris, its biobased squalane is now ECOCERT certified and has been successfully tested and integrated in end products by its partners and products.

“This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity to deliver a reliable supply of sustainably-derived squalane and we are excited to play a major role in making this possible,” said Shigeru Sekine, president of Nikko Chemicals. “We have been in the squalane business for over half a century and are pleased to be working with Amyris to expand the use of this high-value emollient in the Japanese market.”

Nikko Chemicals is at the center of the Nikkol Group, a Japanese specialty chemical company with more than 65 years experience in the chemicals industry. The Nikkol Group is a global leader in the personal care raw material business that provides a variety of unique and high quality raw materials, formulations, tailor-made final products and rigorous safety and efficacy evaluations.

Earlier this year, Amyris received a purchase order from the company’s collaboration partner Soliance, a French-based biobased ingredient provider to the cosmetic industry, for its biobased squalane. The company also produces biobased squalane as part of a manufacturing contract arrangement with Glycotech Inc. at a plant in Leland, N.C.

“Now that we have commissioned our first three Biofene production sites, we are thrilled to expand our sales volumes of renewably-sourced squalane and provide additional customers with a reliable supply of this best-in-class emollient,” said John Melo, CEO of Amyris.