BioAmber raises $45M to expand its succinic acid platform
Pomacle/Paris/Minneapolis – French/US firm BioAmber Inc. has raised US$45 million dollars in a Series B financing led by Paris-based private equity firm NAXOS Capital Partners and with participation of BioAmber's largest shareholder, Sofinnova Partners, Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners (Palo Alto California) and the Cliffton Group (Montreal). In contrast to previous announcements, the company appears to have changed its business model from outlicensing the technology but not building larger plants on its own since its acquisition by DNP Green Technologies Inc late November. The company announced that it will use the investment to construct an industrial-scale production site for succinic acid in the US, an important chemical building block for production of the polyester PBS, for polyols and other raw materials for the chemical industry. Additionally, the company intends to fuel money into its ongoing partnership with Cargill that aims at establishing a second generation production organism besides the already existing metabolically engineered E.coli strain, which is being used in the company’s existing production site in Pomacle, France. BioAmber also announced that it will push the development of a technology licensed from DuPont that converts succinic acid to 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a growing market (CAGR 6%) of 1.3 million tonnes per annum. The company is already developing and scaling-up a novel purification process to produce bio-based succinic acid. At the end of April, BioAmber and its Asian distribution partner mMitsui & Co. became exclusive suppliers of biobased succinic acid produced from wheat starch to Mitsubishi Chemical. The three companies are also conducting a feasibility study to build a succinic acid production plant next to Mitsubishi’s planned PBS production plant in Thailand and want to combine their platforms for the production of biobased succinic acid.