Green chemistry: Bioamber announce start of commercial production


Pomacle – French company Bioamber S.A.S. has beaten German chemistry giant BASF in the race to launch commercial production of bio-based succinic acid. The joint venture from US-based DNP Green Technology and ARD (Agro-industrie Recherches et Deloppements, in France yesterday announced the start-up and commissioning of an industrial scale plant, which is to produce 2,000 metric tonnes of the chemical building block from renewable resources every year. Succinic acid can be chemically transformed to produce plastics, polyurethanes, polyesters, plasticisers, solvents and de-icers, among other products. Bioamber has said that it will produce succinic acid using a carbon dioxide-consuming bacterial fermentation process instead of the current petrochemical approach, which is based on maleic anhydride. This is good news for the environment, but questions remain as to its economic feasibility. The product is targeting a 210m-euro world market of approximately 30,000 metric tonnes per year that is expected to grow rapidly. Proponents of the idea that bio-based production processes can offer an economically feasible alternative to chemical production routes that rely on oil expect the market for succinic acid to eventually grow to 2.5bn euros. However, most chemical companies appear to be moving towards bio-based production processes because of the high volatility of oil prices. For this reason, a number of chemistry giants, including Mitsubishi Chemical Corp/Ajinomoto, Royal DSM/Roquette, and BASF/Purac, have established fermentation processes to produce succinic acid with the help of metabolically engineered bacteria. While Mitsubishi and DSM are yet to produce on a pilot scale, German world market leaders BASF announced in September that it will start a 4,000 tonne/year commercial production plant this year at a plant of partners Purac near Barcelona (see more...). While BASF’s process relies on fermentation of plant-derived glucose and glycerol with its proprietary bacterium BASFia succiniciproducens, Bioamber will produce the chemical building block with the help of a exclusively licenced E. coli bacterium. Bioamber has stated that it will immediately begin selling bio-based succinic acid to a variety of customers, and will build market demand as it negotiates the sale of licenses for large-scale succinic acid plants. According to Patrick Piot, Bioamber General Manager, the company has already reviewed 50 potential partners.



Minneapolis/Banzancourt – Bioamber Inc. is one step closer to the environmental summit. The company's goal is to establish sustainable, "green" chemistry on an industrial scale. The French/US enterprise has now scaled up its...



Sophia Antipolis/ Madison – French NicOx S.A. and the global eye health specialist Bausch & Lomb have announced positive top-line results from their phase 2b dose finding study with BOL-303259-X, a nitric oxide-donating version...



Paris/Barcelona – French pharma company Sanofi strengthens its ties with the Spanish research institution CGR (Center for Genomic Regulation) in Barcelona. CGR stated on 12 March that the two partners agreed upon three years of...



Lyon – The sale of 1.6 million shares brought in €25.3m for French Adocia SAS during its IPO on the Euronext Paris. The price of €15.88 values the diabetes specialist at €96.1m at the upper end of the bookbuilding range. Late...



Pointing to a new study on Syngenta’s GM maize Bt11, France’s Environment Ministry has asked the European Commission to suspend authorisation for the use of the MON810 maize sold by US agri­biotech giant Monsanto as well. The...



Cambridge - Genzyme will shut the doors at its Cambridge R&D site by the end of the year, with up to 60 employees expected to lose their jobs. The move is part of an ongoing global restructuring of R&D by Sanofi, who purchased...



Lille – Shares of the French diabetes specialist Genfit S.A. almost doubled when the company published results of its Phase II study with the PPAR alpha and delta modulator GFT505. The compound has met the co-primary and...



Shares of the French diabetes specialist almost doubled when the companypublished results of its Phase II study with the PPAR alpha and deltamodulator GFT505. The compound has met the co-primary and secondaryendpoints while...



Bagneux - DBV Technologies is planning an IPO on Euronext Paris. The French pharmaceutical group specialising in the treatment of allergies was founded in 2002. DBV's proprietary technology Viaskin is used to administer an...



Berlin/Paris – Sanofi Pasteur has licensed a yeast strain from German Organobalance to produce vaccines. With the deal, the vaccines division of the French drugmaker will gain exclusive access to a modified strain of...

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