Agrivida and Codon Devices Enter Into Development Agreement for Biofuel Applications

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
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Today, Agrivida, Inc., announced that it has entered into an agreement with Codon Devices Inc. for the discovery, development, and commercialization of engineered proteins for use in biofuel applications. Under the terms of this agreement, Codon Devices will deliver to Agrivida optimized enzymes for biofuels production.

Agrivida, an agricultural biotechnology company, is developing corn varieties optimized for producing ethanol, a clean renewable biofuel. Under the agreement, Codon Devices will utilize its BioLOGICTM Engineering Platform to develop enzymes optimized for use in Agrivida’s proprietary ethanol production technology. Traditional methods for manufacturing ethanol make use of the corn grain only, leaving the remaining plant material, such as the corn leaves, stalks, and husks in the field. Central to Agrivida’s ethanol-optimized corn technology are engineered enzymes that are incorporated into the corn plants themselves. These enzymes will efficiently degrade the entire mass of plant material into small sugars that can then be readily converted to ethanol. The optimized enzymes that Codon Devices will develop with its BioLOGICTM Engineering Platform will incorporate Agrivida’s GreenGenesTM technology, allowing Agrivida to dramatically enhance cellulose degradation.

“We have been working with Codon Devices over the past several months and we are thrilled with this new opportunity to partner with Codon and leverage its BioLOGICTM Platform in our own research and development.” said Michael Raab, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Agrivida. “Codon Devices’ development of these enzymes will help advance our development and commercialization of technologies that will dramatically improve ethanol production.”

“This collaboration underscores the value of our BioLOGICTM Engineering Platform for the rapid development of superior proteins with desired properties, such as enzymes with highly specialized functions,” said Brian M. Baynes, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Codon Devices. “With traditional approaches to developing such enzymes, this would be a one to two year project with no certainty of the outcome. In contrast, using our BioLOGICTM Engineering Platform, we expect to be able to deliver these optimized enzymes to Agrivida in six to nine months.”