Amyris’s leading synthetic biotechnology platform was founded on solving a pharmaceutical challenge ─ developing a price stable and secure supply source for malaria treatment, artemisinin (historically derived from a plant).
Notably, nearly half of all drugs approved since 1994 are based on compounds present in natural products. Since then, we have continued to build one of the most sophisticated and powerful biotechnology toolboxes for drug development and manufacture.
Within the biopharmaceutical sector, screening novel targets for small molecule hits faces significant challenges such as the inability to find suitable synthetic compounds and the difficulty in scaling up production of natural product hits. Our ability to generate new diversity derived from natural molecule structures (via our µPharm platform) and our technology for rapid scale up of natural products allows us to address these problems. Outside of small molecules, our technology also allows for rapid development of protein production in multiple potential organism hosts.
Through these capabilities we can deliver to the pharmaceutical industry an integrated discovery and production process for therapeutic compounds for which a natural source is scarce or unavailable, or for which chemical synthesis is not cost-effective. The results are more stable, consistent supply at a lower cost than other viable production methods.
Amyris’s emerging role in these areas is garnering the interest of leading pharmaceutical companies.
In June 2016, we announced our first collaboration in this area ─ an agreement with a commercial license option with Janssen Biotech, part of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, which was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
This was followed soon after in August 2016 by a partnership with Biogen.