BASF announces agreements with Genomatica, Dyadic

By Erin Voegele | May 16, 2013

Chemical company BASF has announced new agreements with Dyadic International Inc. and Genomatica Inc. this month. The company also recently released financial results for the first quarter of 2013.

On May 15, BASF and Dyadic announced the development of a non-exclusive worldwide research and license agreement, relating to Dyadic’s patented and proprietary C1 technology platform. According to information released by the companies, BASF will be able to use the C1 platform to develop, produce, distribute and sell industrial enzymes in certain fields for a variety of applications. In turn, BASF will fund research and development activities at Dyadic’s lab in the Netherlands. BASF will also pay Dyadic a $6 million license fee, fees for meeting research and commercial milestones, and royalty fees following commercialization.

Information on the C1 platform published by Dyadic describes the technology as a fungal expression system based on the Myceliopthora thermophile fungus for gene discovery, expression and the production of enzymes and other proteins. The system was developed in the 1990s, and has been validated through 17 years of research and development activities and 15 years of product sales and partnerships. Dyadic notes the technology is designed to address bottlenecks of protein discovery, development, scale-up and commercialization.

“Dyadic looks forward to working with BASF and utilizing our C1 technology for the expression of next-generation enzyme products for a range of applications,” said Mark Emalfarb, Dyadic’s president and CEO. This collaboration is yet another example of Dyadic’s ability to leverage our technologies in a variety of industries.”

On May 10, BASF announced it will begin to produce biobased 1,4-butanediol (BDO) using Genomatica’s patented one-step fermentation process. Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

According to information released by the companies, BASF intends to build a new BDO production plant. Renewable BDO is expected to be available during the second half of this year for sampling and trial purposes.

"We chose the Genomatica process because we consider it to be exceptionally advanced and reliable," said Sanjeev Gandhi, president of BASF Intermediates division. "In line with our 'we create chemistry' strategy, we aim to offer renewable BDO and create additional value for our customers, in the plastics, textile and automotive industries."

BASF also recently released its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, reporting sales of €19.7 billion ($25.33 billion), a 5 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. Sales declined in the company’s chemicals segment and performance products segment. Sales in the functional materials and solutions segment matched first quarter 2012 levels, while sales in the agricultural solutions segment increased significantly. Sales also increased in the oil and gas segment, and in the business segment identified as “other.”