September 14, 2015

MBI issued game-changing patent for AFEX technology

Chandra Nielson and Josh Videto treat corn stover biomass in MBI’s AFEX pilot plant, using the patented process.

Biotech firm achieves 500-batch AFEX production milestone

Lansing, Mich. — Sept. 14, 2015: MBI today announced its innovative biomass pretreatment patent (patent no. 9,102,964) has been issued by the USPTO. The granting of this patent represents a major milestone in the development and commercialization of its AFEX technology.

For every ton of corn, wheat, and rice harvested today, an equal amount of biomass is left behind on the fields. Within this biomass — of which nearly 2 billion tons are produced each year around the world — nature locks away huge stores of inaccessible sugars. AFEX technology partners with nature, unlocking these sugars and upgrading the biomass into a sustainable source of both cattle feed or a feedstock for cellulosic biofuels and chemicals.

The AFEX technology is a game-changing agricultural innovation, sustainably expanding our capacity to supply both cattle feed and transportation fuels, while reducing our environmental footprint.

Conceived at MBI in 2010, this latest innovation represents a major breakthrough in the cost, scalability, and commercial viability of the technology.

“What is exciting about this patented breakthrough is that it enables a low-cost production of AFEX pretreated biomass, while cost-effectively recycling and reusing the catalyst used during the process,” said Tim Campbell, MBI’s Project Manager and AFEX Process Engineer — also the lead inventor on the patent. “This innovation makes the AFEX process highly robust as well as simple to reproduce and operate. If not for the design breakthrough covered by this patent, the enormous potential global impact of AFEX technology could not be economically realized.”

The genius of the AFEX technology is that it enables sustainable, decentralized production of both cattle feed or a feedstock for biofuels and chemicals. AFEX technology readily addresses the logistical challenges inherent in transporting bulky and unwieldy biomass across long distances while creating value across the supply chain.
The genius of the AFEX technology is that it enables sustainable, decentralized production of both cattle feed or a feedstock for biofuels and chemicals. AFEX technology readily addresses the logistical challenges inherent in transporting bulky and unwieldy biomass across long distances while creating value across the supply chain.

The newly issued patent expands the AFEX technology intellectual property portfolio, which Michigan State University (MSU) — and later MBI — have been developing since MSU Distinguished Professor Bruce Dale invented the technology. This patented technology has been successfully scaled 100-fold, leading to the current one-ton-per-day AFEX pilot plant, at MBI’s Lansing, Michigan facility.

In addition to celebrating the issuance of its key patent, MBI recently achieved another milestone: the production of over 500 batches (15 tons) of AFEX pretreated biomass. Taken together, the patent and production milestones demonstrate the technology’s innovativeness, as well as its robust, consistent performance.

“Currently, we are focused on advancing AFEX technology from pilot to demonstration scale in order to showcase its viability and efficacy for both cattle feed and fuels applications,” said Bobby Bringi, MBI’s CEO. “MBI is commercializing this technology on behalf of MSU. Ultimately, our vision is to broadly share this technology to maximize its global societal benefits.”

 

 

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CONTACT:
Allen Julian | 517.336.4613
Aaryn Richard | 517.336.4638

 

About MBI

MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) is both a premier multi-disciplinary 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 biobased, sustainability-minded technologies. MBI is known for pioneering derisking, a process that quickly and cost-effectively weeds out 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 Bolt Threads, 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 www.mbi.org. A video about AFEX technology and its potential impact can be found here.

 

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(Photo of the Chandra Nielson and Josh Videto taken by Trumpie Photography. Illustration by Jennifer Weaver of Weaver Design.)

July 28, 2015

Local Michigan Biotech Firm Helps Take Engineered Silk to the Next, Wearable Level

Bolt Threads to begin commercial production of Engineered Silk to create wearable textiles developed in collaboration with MBI, a not-for-profit hub affiliated with Michigan State University

 

LANSING, Mich. — On the south side of Michigan State University’s campus, tucked amidst lush green foliage, stands MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute). Established in 1981, this biotechnology accelerator has quietly wrestled with some of the globe’s most pressing sustainability challenges. A mission-inspired, market-driven 501(c)(3) focused on biobased innovations, MBI engages with universities, research institutions, start-up companies, and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food, feed—and, now, spider silk.

Bolt Threads, an innovator based in Emeryville, California, is revolutionizing the way we look at this elusive material—and it will be the first to take biobased Engineered Silk technology to commercial scale. Bolt Threads’ leap forward with this proprietary technology to create Engineered Silk fibers is an epiphany for the textile and garment industries. The company’s goal is to design processes that minimize the environmental footprint while creating a superior product.

MBI’s team couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Bolt Threads on this revolutionary technology,” said Dr. James Wynn, MBI’s director of biobased technology derisking. “At MBI, our mission is to help promising technologies, such as Bolt Threads’ Engineered Silk, make the most efficient transition from the lab to commercial production.”

Until today, commercial silk production has been limited to either silk worms or extremely small scale engineered silk production, where the painstaking efforts taken to amass any amount of silk were far too labor intensive with little pay-off. Bolt Threads is the first company to produce Engineered Silk fibers made from proteins found in nature with the ability to scale commercially. Additionally, Bolt Threads’ fibers can be programmed to be as soft, durable and malleable as needed.

“By accessing MBI’s expertise in process control and scale-up, Bolt Threads was able to develop a more robust and scalable production process capable of supplying large quantities of Engineered Silk,” said Wynn.

 

“The work that we are doing with MBI is key to the development, scale-up and demonstration-scale production of our Engineered Silk for use in fibers and textiles,” said Jason Ryder, Bolt Threads vice president of manufacturing. “Our collaboration with MBI validates the robustness and transferability of our process, which paves the way for transferring and developing in future commercial-scale facilities.”

At the time of this release, Bolt Threads is planning to have products in the market by 2016.

 

About MBI and Bolt Threads

 

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 biobased 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 www.www.mbi.org.

Bolt Threads The material world is about to get a whole new material. Bolt Threads is creating the next generation of performance fibers and fabrics using proprietary breakthroughs in industrial biotechnology. Working at the molecular level, Bolt Threads will transform the textiles market, turning renewable raw materials into products with outstanding properties that meet specific consumer needs. Bolt Threads is backed by Foundation Capital, Formation 8, and Founders Fund, and is based in Emeryville, California.

 

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March 12, 2015

MBI’s Bobby Bringi inducted into engineering elite for biobased innovations, leadership

Bobby Bringi, President & CEO

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) will honor Bringi at March 16 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

LANSING, Mich. — The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) will induct Bobby Bringi, Ph.D., who is CEO of MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute), to its College of Fellows at a March 16 ceremony in Washington, D.C. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country.

Dr. Bringi was elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for “the development of plant cell fermentation process to make taxol and leadership of Michigan Biotechnology Institute.” MBI — a Lansing, Michigan-based not-for-profit biotech accelerator and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation — is pioneering the AFEX technology platform, a game-changing solution to the world’s grand challenge of feeding 9 billion people by the year 2050.

Read more

February 17, 2015

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada’s BioProducts AgSci Cluster Workshop

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada’s (BIC) has announced its first annual BioProducts AgSci Cluster Workshop, which will be held March 11-12 in Mississauga, Ontario.

In September 2014, MBI hosted leaders from Sarnia, Ont.-based Bioindustrial Innovation Canada for the signing of an innovative, collaboration-driven binational agreement designed to expedite development and commercialization of bio-based chemicals and materials. The innovative binational agreement will help expedite development and commercialization of bio-based chemicals.

About the BioProducts AgSci Cluster Workshop

  • Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday March 12, 2015 (Two Days)
  • Four Points By Sheraton Toronto Airport, 6257 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON N7T 7W6
  • Registration Fees: $250.00 per person (HST included) – $25 cancellation fee.
  • Accommodations Four Points By Sheraton Toronto Airport
    More about registration

Read more about the binational agreement.

October 15, 2014

French cellulosic technology company DEINOVE teams up with MBI

Oct. 15, 2014 — DEINOVE (Alternext Paris: ALDEI) and MBI have announced the formation of a technological partnership designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the DEINOL technology for producing biofuels based on lignocellulosic biomass (2G biofuels).

Read the press reports:

MBI is both a premier multidisciplinary center sought out by industry partners for its unique derisking capabilities and a not-for-profit inspired by a mission to enhance quality of life. MBI applies its derisking approach to the development of biofuels, chemicals, food, and feed from renewable, rather than fossil, raw materials and is known for its exceptional record of successful university and corporate collaborations, including major industrial groups such as DuPont, Cargill (NatureWorks), Novozymes; and multiple start-ups such as Genomatica, OPX Biotechnologies, and Verdezyne.

MBI, in close collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), has developed a transformational technology, called AFEX. This technology has the potential to double worldwide output from existing grain-crop production while providing a sustainable, affordable source of food, feed, fuels, and chemicals. AFEX has advanced from the laboratory to a one-ton-per-day pilot scale. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack gave recognition to the enormous global potential of this technology with a visit to MBI.

EARLY TEST RESULTS

After testing its process on simple sugars such as glucose and xylose, DEINOVE contacted MBI to test the DEINOL technology on AFEX pretreated corn stover.

Indeed, DEINOVE’s commercial acceleration is relying on an increased focus: working on customizing Deinococcus strains for industrial biomass.

Preliminary tests produced remarkable results with the assimilation of more than 95% of all the sugars available in the biomass and the production of ethanol, a process called “Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation.” These results demonstrate the effectiveness of AFEX technology in releasing the cellulose and hemicellulose found in the biomass, and the effectiveness of Deinococcus in assimilating and metabolizing the material obtained.

“The preliminary results obtained by combining AFEX and Deinococcus not only confirmed the performance of each one of our technologies,” said Allen Julian, MBI’s Chief Business Officer, “but also demonstrated a compelling synergy between both.” The results obtained so far confirm the extraordinary fermenting capabilities of Deinococcus bacteria, as well as their significant potential for product cost reduction. This combination is highly promising, and it could provide an answer for an industry that is seeking a technologically and economically competitive solution to the challenge of producing sustainable, low-cost biofuels.”

“The outlook for demonstrating the viability of our process with MBI is very exciting,” said Emmanuel Petiot, CEO of DEINOVE. “MBI is an expert in the development, optimization, and scale-up of biobased technologies, and it has provided support for the industrialization of many production technologies in the fields of green chemistry and biofuels. Once this test campaign is finished, we will have everything we need to move on to industrial production application with our partners.”

(Image credit: Deinove, photo courtesy of Michael Daly, USIHS, NY)

September 26, 2014

MBI signs innovative binational agreement to help expedite development and commercialization of biobased chemicals

Agreement with Bioindustrial Innovation Canada comes on heels of Binational Blue Water Region Conference collaboration commitment

LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 26, 2014) — MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) will today host leaders from Sarnia, Ont.-based Bioindustrial Innovation Canada for the signing of an innovative, collaboration-driven binational agreement designed to expedite development and commercialization of bio-based chemicals and materials.

“This agreement to share research in a binational region fits perfectly with MBI’s mission to enhance quality of life globally by collaboratively accelerating the commercialization of sustainable bio-based technologies,” said MBI Chief Business Officer Allen Julian. “It’s a testament to the power of collaboration in the biotech sector to have MBI and Bioindustrial Innovation Canada — two bio-economy visionaries advancing technology on either side of the U.S.-Canadian border — here in Lansing to commit to working together to build a broader range of knowledge assets in Michigan and southwest Ontario.”

MBI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan State University (MSU) Foundation, focuses on the development and commercialization of bio-based technologies, many of which have been precipitated by MSU’s research capacity in bio-based disciplines. MBI 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 weeds out flawed technologies while accelerating viable ones through a stage-gated innovation process.

“This agreement has been in the works for several years,” said MBI Director of Alliance and Operations Bernie Steele. “We’re grateful for the facilitative leadership of the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development binational project team in pushing this landmark Agreement over the finish line.”

BIC, a Canadian non-profit organization with Canadian federal support, seeks to bridge the gap between research and markets in bio-based chemicals and energy production. BIC is leveraging its partnerships with Western (ON) University and Lambton College to develop a world-class, bio-based cluster in the region.

This landmark agreement establishes a clear framework for coordinated research to expedite development and commercialization of bio-based chemicals and materials, along with raising awareness of the biomanufacturing and green chemistry sectors in the binational region of Michigan and southwest Ontario. The agreement represents an important step in creating a global knowledge and research network that starts with these pioneering institutions in Michigan and Ontario.

This agreement comes just three months after a binational memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Corporation and the Southwest (Ontario) Economic Alliance on June 11 in Sarnia at the second Binational Blue Water Region Conference. That MOU targeted the biomanufacturing and green chemistry sectors for future binational collaboration and development, setting the stage for the MBI-BIC agreement.

For more information, go to www.mbi.org and and stay connected with future MBI company developments over LinkedIn.

Read about this news development in Xconomy.com, BioFuelsDigest and Green Chemicals Blog.


CONTACT:
Allen Julian | 517.336.4613
Aaryn Richard | 517.336.4638

 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 www.mbi.org.

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(Photo of the Blue Water Bridge via a Flickr Creative Commons license.)  

February 10, 2014

President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Tour MBI’s AFEX Pilot Plant

LANSING, Mich. — MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) and Michigan State University (MSU) welcomed President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to campus and the MBI facility on Feb. 7, 2014. The President and Secretary Vilsack toured the MBI facility prior to President Obama signing the Farm Bill at MSU’s Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center.

While at MBI, President Obama and Secretary Vilsack, led by MSU President Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, learned of MBI’s innovative collaboration framework for taking early stage bio-based technologies, originating in university labs or the private sector, to demonstration of commercial viability. At the first tour stop, the President saw how early-stage bio-based technologies progress from test-tube quantities to several thousand liters as they are developed in the MBI fermentation pilot plant.

At a second stop on the tour, President Obama heard about MBI and MSU’s AFEX™ technology. AFEX is a transformational technology that has the potential to double worldwide output from existing grain-crop production within the next twenty years. Successful commercialization of AFEX will have a profound impact on our ability to meet growing demand for food, feed, and renewable fuels and chemicals. This innovative technology, originally conceived by Dr. Bruce Dale of MSU and further developed at MBI, addresses the logistical and process challenges of converting agricultural residues (corn stover, wheat and rice straw) to bio-based fuels, chemicals, and uniquely, animal feeds. The cost-effective design and distributed commercial deployment model allows production close to farms, supporting rural economic development and addressing food versus fuel concerns.

At a third stop, the President learned of a unique interdisciplinary collaboration underway at MSU. An internationally renowned program in potato breeding aimed at improved nutritional content and disease resistance has been transformed by collaborative research with a leading plant genomics group. The application of next generation sequencing and computational genomics has greatly accelerated the ability to identify and introduce traits into new potato varieties.

Following the recent successful commissioning of the AFEX pilot plant, “we are particularly excited to have President Obama and Secretary Vilsack visit MBI and give us an opportunity to share the AFEX story and the enormous potential that this technology represents,” said Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer of MBI. “Having the President visit MBI made for an incredible day, but having him sign the Farm Bill here at MSU on the same day made it even better, as the Farm Bill provides support for the development of renewable fuels, chemicals and other biobased products that further the cause of sustainable development, something which is core to our mission at MBI.”

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 www.www.mbi.org.

About MSU

Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Read more on Reuters.com

January 13, 2013

MBI assists Verdezyne team in renewable chemicals biotech project

CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 21, 2014) — Verdezyne, Inc., a privately-held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, announced today that it has produced more than one metric ton of bio-based dodecanedioic acid (DDDA) using its proprietary yeast platform and downstream process. The Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI) and the Michigan State University (MSU) Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) worked with Verdezyne to run the bio-based DDDA process at the 4,000-liter scale. This production confirmed the scalability of Verdezyne’s process and produced polymer-grade material for potential customers and partners.

“Technology transfer to MSU (MBI/BEI) and scale-up of our process was seamless, and exceeded our expectations,” said José M. Laplaza, Ph.D., Verdezyne’s Director of Metabolic Engineering and DDDA Program Manager. “This is a testament to the strong technology team we have assembled at Verdezyne, the expertise of the MSU (MBI/BEI) staff and the robustness of our proprietary process.”

Dodecanedioic acid is a dicarboxylic acid used to make nylon 6,12, molding resins, lubricants, adhesives, and powder coatings, as well as end products such as fishing line, toothbrush bristles and fuel lines. This industrial chemical is currently made from petroleum-based intermediates.

“Michigan State University and the MSU Bioeconomy Institute are committed to providing regional, state and national support for innovative and green process development,” said William Freckman, Director of Operations of the MSU Bioeconomy Institute. “We are pleased to provide scale-up services for Verdezyne’s emerging technology.”

“MBI is proud to have been able to assist the Verdezyne team in their efforts to develop and scale-up this important new technology, and we wish them great success as they move to commercialization,” said Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer of MBI.

Read more in BusinessWire.

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 www.www.mbi.org.

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January 11, 2013

Novozymes and MBI Win $2.5 Million DOE Award for Game-Changing Technology

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 11, 2013) — The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it has awarded MBI and Novozymes up to $2.5 million — following a previous$4.3 million Department of Energy award to MBI — to develop new enzyme-based technologies to convert corn stover into sugars for subsequent conversion into biofuels.

Novozymes, a world-leading enzyme company, brings its depth of expertise in enzyme screening and development to the partnership, while MBI brings its innovative AFEXTM biomass processing technology.

“There are two major challenges in converting agricultural biomass into biobased products,” said Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer of MBI. “One is the challenge of handling, storing and hauling low-density biomass to the refinery, and the other is the challenge of breaking down the biomass cost-effectively into its constituent sugars.”

AFEX technology can be practiced in depots close to the farm, allowing dense biomass pellets to be economically stored and shipped to a distant biorefinery. In addition, AFEX alters the biomass structure so that enzymes can more effectively break the biomass down into fermentable sugars.

The Novozymes/MBI collaboration is aimed at tailoring enzymes for AFEX-treated biomass, which will in turn enable the production of low-cost fermentable sugars. Such non-food biomass sugars can be converted into bio-based fuels, chemicals and other products.

MBI previously won a $4.3 million Department of Energy award to develop and scale up its AFEX technology. Under this project, MBI is currently completing the installation of a 1 ton-per-day pilot-scale AFEX reactor at its Lansing, Michigan facility.

Read more on businesswire.com

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 www.www.mbi.org.

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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
viability.”

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 www.www.mbi.org.

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