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Yield10 Bioscience, Inc.  (MBLX)
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    Sector  Healthcare    Industry Medical Laboratories
 
   Industry Medical Laboratories
   Sector  Healthcare


 

Yield10 Bioscience, Inc.

Business Description


Metabolix is an advanced biomaterials company focused on delivering sustainable solutions to the plastics industry. We have core capabilities in microbial genetics, fermentation process engineering, chemical engineering, polymer science, plant genetics and botanical science, and we have assembled these capabilities in a way that has allowed us to integrate our biotechnology research with real world chemical engineering and industrial practice. In addition, we have created an extensive intellectual property portfolio to protect our innovations which, together with our technology, serves as a valuable foundation for our business.
Metabolix was formed to leverage the ability of natural systems to produce complex biopolymers from renewable resources. We have focused on a family of biopolymers found in nature called polyhydroxyalkanoates (“PHAs”), which occur naturally in living organisms and are chemically similar to polyesters. We have demonstrated the production of our PHAs from pilot to industrial scale and we have sold our PHA products commercially since 2012.
Our targeted markets offer substantial opportunity for innovation and value creation. Our strategy is based on the performance and differentiation of our materials. We aim to address unmet needs of our customers and leverage the distinctive properties of our proprietary PHA biopolymers to improve critical product qualities of material systems and enable our customers to enhance the value of their products and/or achieve cost savings through their value chains. As such, we are positioning our biopolymers as advanced specialty materials that offer a broad and attractive range of product and processing properties compared to other bioplastics or performance additives. We believe that a substantial global market opportunity exists to develop and commercialize our advanced biopolymer product technology.

We believe we have one of the most advanced capabilities to perform metabolic pathway engineering in the world and that we are skilled in our ability to integrate the biotechnology we develop into large scale industrial production processes to support manufacturing of our PHA biopolymers. In particular, we believe we have unique capabilities with respect to harnessing the metabolic pathways involved in the production of a wide range of bioplastic monomers and the ability to polymerize, accumulate and harvest these bioplastics from living cells. We are also continuing to develop key capabilities in the areas of biopolymer product development and customer focused applications development and technical support.
We have demonstrated that our technology and core capabilities enable us to:

design and engineer living organisms to perform a series of chemical reactions that convert a feedstock to an end product in a highly efficient and reliable manner;

integrate those organisms into reliable, large scale industrial fermentation processes;

develop highly efficient recovery technology to separate the end product from the fermentation broth;

tailor the properties of our end product to suit customer needs;

develop new applications and commercial opportunities for these products;


develop new formulations and compounds based on these products; and

provide sales and technical support to our customers who use these products

Our goal is to build a commercially successful specialty biopolymers business, with attractive margins, based on the unique properties of our PHA biopolymers. To achieve this goal, we are developing and commercializing biopolymers in a range of applications. We believe this will lead to attractive commercial opportunities for the Company, create value for our business and our customers and generate leading intellectual property positions in the field.

Biology and Genetic Engineering
We have identified and chromosomally inserted into organisms a series of genes to produce several enzymatic proteins, and have done so in such a way that they are expressed to execute a series of reactions in a balanced manner to produce PHAs with controlled structures and performance as the end-product of interest. We believe that we have advanced capabilities based on over 20 years of development, taking early stage gene/pathway discovery through the entire development and scale-up process and final implementation of that technology at commercial scale using robust industrial microbial production systems. We believe these capabilities enable us to produce specialty PHA biopolymers with unique properties.

Industrial Fermentation Process Engineering
We have tightly integrated our fermentation scale-up research capabilities with our genetic engineering capabilities to create a feedback loop where data from fermentation experiments inform microbial design and where microbial engineering approaches can guide the fermentation group to structure the optimal protocols (recipes) for running fermentations. Based on this technology we have demonstrated the ability to produce a range of different biopolymers on a common fermentation platform.

Chemical Process Engineering for Biopolymer Recovery
Another element of our product development process involves process chemistry and chemical engineering to separate the biopolymer from the biological cell material once fermentation is complete. We have a dedicated team that has developed a proprietary process for recovery of PHA biopolymer. That process produces PHA biopolymer at a high level of purity without damaging the structure of the polymer and has operated effectively at a commercial scale. We have successfully demonstrated our ability to efficiently isolate the range of polymers necessary to meet and expand our range of target applications. These polymers can be routinely produced free from cell debris and processed into high quality biomaterials.

Polymer Science and Product Development
In the area of biopolymers, our product development process involves tailoring polymer properties and polymer blends to provide the desired end product properties and meet the processing requirements for specific customer applications. During 2015 we further expanded our capabilities and facilities to evaluate PHAs as modifiers and process aids in targeted PVC and PLA applications. We also upgraded facilities to develop functional biodegradation products with controlled degradation profiles based on specific customer application needs. Our product development team has considerable expertise in polymer science and to date has developed advanced formulation and processing technology for a wide variety of customer applications and processing methods. We are continuing to work with customers and channel partners to optimize our polymers and polymer formulations as we commercialize our products in target applications.


In summary, we believe we have successfully integrated capabilities in biology, genetics, fermentation process engineering, chemical engineering and polymer science to provide high value biobased and biodegradable polymer solutions for customers. We believe this integrated set of capabilities will be a source of competitive advantage as our business develops.

Our target markets and product applications offer substantial opportunity for innovation and value creation. In certain applications, we can position our PHA biopolymers as biobased performance additives that contribute biocontent, while improving the overall performance of material systems. In other applications, our PHA biopolymers can be used to replace conventional plastics based on market drivers for renewable and biodegradable materials that have the potential to reduce the use of petroleum-based feedstocks and decrease plastic pollution in the environment. To that end, we are targeting our resources on the use of our PHA biopolymers as performance additives in a range of applications where they can improve performance and or reduce cost in other material systems such as PVC and PLA. We are also targeting applications where the performance, biodegradability, biocontent and other attributes of our PHA biopolymers provide unique functional advantages, such as biodegradation, required by such applications, including PHA latex and other PHA coatings for paper and cardboard, and PHA resins for films and molded articles.

   

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