March 27, 2012

MBI Partners in Successful Scale Up of Renewable Alternative to Petroleum-Based Acrylic Acid

MBI Announces Successful Scale Up of OPXBIO’s BioAcrylic Process Fermentation at 3,000-liter scale is major step toward commercialization

LANSING, Mich. (March 27, 2012) – MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) announced a successful pilot campaign for the BioAcrylic process created by OPX Biotechnologies Inc. (OPXBIO), demonstrating successful scale up of the fermentation process at the 3,000-liter scale. BioAcrylic is a renewable alternative to petroleum-based acrylic acid, for which there is a $10 billion market, including in such products as diapers, detergents, paints and adhesives. OPXBIO has partnered with The Dow Chemical Company to bring BioAcrylic products to the market.

“The successful process demonstration at 3,000-liter scale should increase the confidence of OPXBIO and its partners in the BioAcrylic process,” said Bobby Bringi, president and CEO of MBI. “This achievement better positions them to accelerate their commercialization efforts.”

“Scale-up milestones are major achievements in this industry,” said Charles R. (Chas) Eggert, president and CEO of OPXBIO. “MBI made it possible to reach this point in less than three months. Their team’s capabilities, focus on derisking, and bioprocessing facilities enabled us to move the BioAcrylic process toward commercial

MBI has assisted a number of companies in derisking and scaling up biotechnology processes, including Genomatica and DuPont Applied Sciences. Prior successes include the collaborative development of 3-
hydroxybutyrolactone, an intermediate used in making anti-cholesterol drugs, with Synthon Chiragenics Corporation, and polylactic acid, the first widely-used biodegradable plastic, with Cargill.

About MBI

MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) is both a premier multidisciplinary center sought out by industry partners for unique derisking capabilities—and a mission-inspired 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that collaboratively accelerates the commercialization of bio-based technologies. MBI is known for pioneering derisking, a process that quickly and cost-effectively fails flawed technologies while accelerating viable ones through a stage-gated innovation process. Lansing, Michigan-based MBI engages with universities, research institutions and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food and feed. Collaborators have included DuPont, Genomatica and Novozymes. MBI has also worked with Michigan State University and Cargill to develop PLA, the first biodegradable polymer in global use. Technologies developed at MBI are recognized and trusted worldwide. Learn more at