October 17, 2017
Lygos Partners with Agile BioFoundry and U.S. Department of Energy to Accelerate BioProduct R&D and Commercialization
BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 17, 2017 — Lygos, a leading innovator in the development of sustainable high-value specialty chemicals, announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy is providing multi-year funding for Lygos’ collaboration with the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) to automate research technology. Lygos’ pilot collaboration is part of a multi-company two-year, $5 million effort coordinated by the ABF.
“This DOE funding underscores the importance of our work with the Agile BioFoundry,” said Jeffrey Dietrich, Lygos’ Chief Technology Officer. “Harnessing the power of microbes to produce important chemicals requires a less expensive, faster engineering cycle as well as new technologies to more effectively interrogate microbe performance. By pairing Lygos’ expertise designing, building, and optimizing pathways with the ABF’s capabilities in advanced automation we’ll be able to dramatically decrease the time required to commercialize new microbial products.”
Lygos’ “Innovation Engine” R&D team will work directly with the ABF on the shared mission of building engineered microbes to manufacture a set of new high-value chemicals. Lygos’ earlier success with its Bio-Malonate™ program and its “L-Series” of proprietary industrial yeast that led to products such as malonic acid and its esters, made it an ideal partner for the ABF.
This new collaboration will enable Lygos to accelerate its R&D capabilities and shorten the commercialization timelines required for subsequent products using the improved automation and analytical capabilities being developed. Lygos expects to receive about $1 million over the first two years of the program for its participation.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office established the Agile BioFoundry — a new consortium of nine Energy Department national laboratories working to standardize and streamline the entire biomanufacturing pipeline by uniting computer-assisted biological pathway design, process integration, process scale-up, and machine learning.
“We’re impressed with the capabilities, expertise, and elite staff at the Agile BioFoundry, and we’re excited about increasing the power of our research to create more products and serve more customers,” said Eric Steen, CEO, Lygos. “The past five years have seen revolutionary reductions in the time and cost of engineering biology. Working with the ABF, I think we can do even more over the next five years.”
About the Agile BioFoundry
The Agile BioFoundry is focused on developing, deploying and uniting tools, technologies, software, and instrumentation across the National Laboratory system for the robust and predictive engineering of biology for the production of biofuels and renewable chemicals from domestic, non-food lignocellulosic biomass. Central to this effort is developing databases and machine learning methods to enable better, automated design of bioprocesses with predictable performance and scaling.
About Lygos, Inc.
Lygos makes microbial-based manufacturing solutions at the juncture of biology and technology that create market-transforming product opportunities. Lygos’ first products — malonic acid and derivatives — replace low-quality petrochemical products produced at high economic and environmental cost in countries without strong environmental protection programs. Lygos is venture-backed by 50 Years, First Round Capital, IA Ventures, OS Fund, Vast Ventures and the Y Combinator Continuity Fund, along with notable angel investors. Lygos’ R&D was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.lygos.com or follow us on Twitter: @LygosBiotech.