BioAmber’s leadership position has been built with several strategic partnerships, joint ventures and collaborations.
BioAmber has established a joint venture with Mitsui to finance and build its manufacturing facility in Sarnia, Ontario. The joint venture also intends to build and operate two additional facilities, one located in Thailand and the other located in either the United States or Brazil. Mitsui will provide know-how regarding shipping and logistics, warehousing, credit checks, freight insurance, and trade finance globally and facilitate sales in Asia. Mitsui is one of the world’s largest general trading companies, with 153 offices in 65 countries.
BioAmber has partnered with PTT-MCC Biochem, a joint venture between PTT PLC and Mitsubishi Chemical. BioAmber and Mitsui will build a bio-based succinic acid plant in Thailand and supply PTT-MCC with bio-based succinic acid on an exclusive basis. PTT-MCC Biochem selected BioAmber as its partner for the polybutylene succinate (PBS) plant that it plans to commission in 2014. Succinic acid is a raw material used to produce PBS.
BioAmber has a collaboration with Solvay to develop aliphatic and aromatic esters of bio-succinic acid and/or for use in the plasticization of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. BioAmber is producing esters made with its bio-succinic, while Solvay, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of PVC, formulates and tests the esters and market-tests potential products to its customers. The goal is to offer a portfolio of renewable, phtahlate-free plasticizer solutions to Solvay’s PVC customers.
BioAmber is jointly developing succinate-based plasticizers with Lanxess, a global leader in phthalate-free plasticizers. The goal is to develop and commercialize bio-succinic acid-based plasticizers that are both renewable and phthalate-free. The partners are cooperating in the research and development of monomeric and polymeric plasticizers based on bio-succinic acid, researching customer applications and determining market opportunities. The goal is to begin commercialization in 2012.
BioAmber is Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation’s (MCC) exclusive global supplier of bio-succinic acid. MCC has also entered into a supply agreement with BioAmber for bio-based PBS that BioAmber then uses to produce its modified PBS. The partners are also collaborating to test MCC’s proprietary organism in the production facility that BioAmber operates in France, in a joint effort to further lower the cost of producing bio-succinic acid.
We are working with Tereos to study the feasibility of two possible facilities that would produce crystalline bio-succinic acid and/or bio-based 1,4 BDO on sites located in Europe and/or Brazil. We expect to provide our bio-succinic acid and bio-based 1,4 BDO proprietary technologies to produce bio-succinic acid and/or bio-based 1,4 BDO, while Tereos expects to provide long-term feedstock supply, utilities, available infrastructure and shared services. Tereos is a leading producer of starch, starch sweeteners, alcohol and proteins in Europe and Brazil and offers a reliable and consistent feedstock supply.
The joint venture NatureWorks LLC. builds on the natural synergy that exists between NatureWorks and BioAmber. Beyond its Ingeo PLA technology platform, NatureWorks brings to the joint venture a global commercial presence, established customer relationships, developed applications across a breadth of industries and deep experience in commercializing new-to-the-world polymers. BioAmber owns PLA/PBS compounding intellectual property and applies award-winning biotechnology and chemical processing to produce renewable chemicals. With the formation of the joint venture, NatureWorks plans to commercialize a new family of compounded Ingeo resin grades, and is immediately offering samples of developmental grades aimed at thermoforming and injection-molding processes.
In November of 2012, Faurecia announced its exclusive industrial partnership agreement with the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) to co-develop bio-plastics designed for mass production in automotive interiors. As exclusive bio-succinic acid supplier to MCC, BioAmber will be supplying Bio-SA™ to the partnership. Faurecia is the world's sixth largest automotive equipment supplier with over 84,000 employees in 33 countries at 270 sites and 40 research and development facilities. With the help of BioAmber, Faurecia is poised to become the world's first automotive equipment supplier to mass produce a 100% bio-based plastic.
Inolex is an independently-owned supplier of specialty chemicals for lubricant, personal care and cosmetics industries. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Inolex is commercializing succinate technologies as natural silicone alternatives that are wholly-natural, readily-biodegradable, non-genetically-modified, eco-certified and sustainable. Through its partnership, BioAmber and Inolex are leveraging expertise, commercial capabilities and market access to jointly-develop innovative performance solutions for a personal care esters market valued at $500 million.
BioAmber is collaborating with Cargill to develop a new generation yeast that produces bio-based succinic acid. The yeast has four important advantages over our current organism: lower production costs, lower capital expenditures, a more robust organism that can achieve much higher titers and resist harsher fermentation conditions, and an organism that can use ligno-cellulosic (non-food) sugars. Cargill's breakthrough yeast has been successfully commercialized for lactic acid and BioAmber has secured exclusive rights for the production of bio-succinic acid.
In June 2010, we entered into a license agreement with DuPont under which DuPont granted us worldwide sub-licenses and licenses to catalyst technology to develop and commercialize the hydrogenation of our bio-succinic acid to produce bio-based 1,4 BDO and bio-THF. Under the agreement, DuPont has the option to secure a portion of the bio-based 1,4 BDO and/or bio-THF we produce using DuPont's catalyst technology through an off-take agreement with our future manufacturing facilities.
BioAmber has been working with MATRIC since the spring of 2008. MATRIC's extensive chemical process and engineering expertise has led to the development of a novel isolation and purification process for succinic acid that has substantially lower capital expenditure and operating expenses than the typically practiced methods of purification. The novel process has been successfully scaled-up at MATRIC's piloting facility in Charleston, West Virginia. BioAmber is now collaborating with MATRIC on further innovation in bio-succinic purification, and is also applying the purification technology to bio-adipic acid.
BioAmber is collaborating with Evonik’s Catalysts Business Line to produce and commercially deploy catalysts that convert bio-based succinic acid into BDO (1,4- butanediol), THF (tetrahydrofuran) and GBL (gamma – butyrolactone). BioAmber originally licensed the catalyst technology from DuPont Applied Biosciences in 2010 and Evonik has been helping BioAmber to optimize the catalysts and scale them up. Longer term, the partners are also looking to develop a new generation of catalysts that can produce BDO, THF and GBL even more cost effectively.
BioAmber has been collaborating with ARD since 2006 in the field of succinic acid. BioAmber has since scaled up its technology in ARD's production facility and bought back ARD's share of the joint venture in 2010, when BioAmber secured exclusive access to ARD's production plant through a toll-manufacturing agreement that runs to the end of 2014. BioAmber now plans to scale up its new generation organisms in the plant.
BioAmber has an exclusive commercial license agreement with UT-Battelle, LLC and University of Chicago Argonne, LLC, each of which are entities that manage and operate laboratories under contracts with the DOE. The original research on succinic acid production was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. BioAmber has an exclusive license to patents that cover the microorganism that it uses in its manufacturing process for bio-succinic acid.
In September 2010, BioAmber entered into a technology license agreement with Celexion, LLC. BioAmber has an exclusive, worldwide license to develop, make, use or sell certain C6 derivatives, including adipic acid, hexamethylene diamine and hexanediol. The novel pathway is described in patent applications held by Celexion, including how metabolically engineered host cells produce difunctional alkanes, and certain methods for producing the difunctional alkanes.