Metabolix sells bioplastics business to CJ CheilJedang


US bioplastics maker Metabolix is selling its biopolymer intellectual property and certain laboratory equipment to South Korea’s agriculture/food firm CJ CheilJedang Corporation for US$10 million. In March this year, Metabolix said it was entering into an agreement with CJ to produce and operate a 10-kilotonne polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production unit at CJ’s Fort Dodge, Iowa facility, based on Metabolix’s PHA technology. http://plasticsandrubberasia.com/mar2016/materials17.html

Under the definitive agreements, Metabolix will transfer to CJ a portfolio of intellectual property covering the production and usage of PHA, including the platform microbial strains used to produce the company’s fermentation based products, as well as patent rights covering the production and use of PHA biopolymers. CJ will also acquire certain laboratory equipment associated with the biopolymers business. The arrangement is also expected to include a sublease to CJ of a portion of Metabolix’s Woburn, Mass., facility.

“In addition to securing leadership in the global green bio business, we have now gained a foothold in expanding our R&D capabilities to enter the industrial biomaterials sector,” said Roh Hang-duk, vice president of CJ CheilJedang’s biotechnology business.

“We believe this transaction will help put the Company on a more stable footing and enable us to move forward with our plan to make Yield10 Bioscience our core business,” said Joseph Shaulson, President/CEO of Metabolix.

Metabolix announced its new strategic direction in July, which was to wind down its biopolymers business after rejecting an offer to merge from Cellulac. http://plasticsandrubberasia.com/july2016/materials5.html

After the sale, it anticipates a staff of approximately 20 people with an annual net cash burn rate in the range of US$5 million once it has completed its transition and related restructuring. Consistent with this new strategy, the company plans to rebrand itself as Yield10 Bioscience in the coming months.


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