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Biobased Chemicals

Amyris declares bankruptcy

by Matt Blois
August 19, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 27


The synthetic biology firm Amyris has declared bankruptcy after months of cost cutting failed to keep the company solvent. Rather than specializing in one activity, Amyris, which sells personal care products, flavors and fragrances, and other chemicals made via fermentation, aimed to both develop new materials and market those products to customers. After the bankruptcy, Amyris says, it will focus on its core competencies: R&D and scale-up of biomanufacturing processes. The firm plans to sell off its consumer brands, though it says that under new ownership those brands will still use chemicals produced by Amyris. The company warned investors in May that it may not be able to pay all its bills through the end of the year. It has been reducing spending on advertising, shipping, and staffing. Amyris also sold a portfolio of cosmetic ingredients, including squalane, to the flavor and fragrance maker Givaudan for up to $350 million early this year. But at the end of March, the company had just $17 million in cash and nearly $1 billion of debt.


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