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METabolic EXplorer Announces Significant Progress in its Collaborative Glycolic Acid Programme With Roquette

Published on 2008-07-08. Author : SpecialChem

Clermont-Ferrand, France -- METabolic EXplorer, is a green chemistry company that specializes in the development of bioprocesses for the production of chemical compounds used in a wide range of everyday products - paints, solvents, adhesives, textile fibres, resorbable surgical thread, etc.-, has announced a major development in its Glycolic Acid programme.

METabolic EXplorer has been able to significantly improve the performance of the bacterial strain used in lab-scale production of Glycolic Acid. This important technical development enables the programme to move into the pre-industrial pilot phase up to ten months earlier than initially planned.

Glycolic Acid programme moves into pre-industrial pilot phase

In 2006 METabolic EXplorer and Roquette, a world leader of starch-derivatives, entered into an exclusive license option agreement for the development and industrialisation of its proprietary bioprocess and on Glycolic Acid sales. The co-development programme is part of the BioHub™ plant biorefinery project initiated and led by Roquette.

The improvement in the performance of the bacterial strain producing Glycolic Acid at laboratory scale allows Roquette to move the programme into the pre-industrial pilot phase, which is an essential step in the industrialisation process. The pre-industrial pilot allows the validation of the laboratory results which can then be extrapolated to the industrial scale.

Glycolic Acid opens the path to new biopolymers

Glycolic Acid which is currently included in cosmetic formulations and in industrial surfaces treatment, is also used in the production of biodegradable polymers – a market expected to reach over 500 kilotonnes by 2010. At present, the only way to produce Glycolic Acid is through a petro-chemical based production process.

Philippe Guinot, VP Business Development at METabolic EXplorer said: « The initiation of the pre industrial pilot for the Glycolic Acid programme, decided in conjunction with Roquette, confirms our ability to develop high-performance solutions in the field of green chemistry. This is a major step towards a new and sustainable value chain for the production of biodegradable plastic materials. Our expertise plays an essential and vital role at the heart of this value chain, which is being driven by Roquette. »

Christophe Rupp-Dalhem, Programme Director at Roquette added: « The Glycolic Acid project is a perfect illustration of the BioHub® program: it combines METabolic EXplorer's expertise in metabolic technology to enhance bacterial performance and Roquette's biotechnology know-how in the industrial pilot phase. Glycolic Acid is used to produce unique gazproof plastic packaging. »

About Roquette:

ROQUETTE is one of Europe's largest and one of the world's most advanced starch and starch-derivatives businesses and world leader in polyols (sugar alcohols). ROQUETTE derives over 650 products from six million tonnes of maize, wheat, peas and potatoes, and adds outstanding value to over 500,000 hectares of agricultural output. ROQUETTE has annual sales of more than EUR 2 billion and employs some 6,000 people worldwide. ROQUETTE is a private family business dedicated to long-term development. With production facilities in Europe, North America and Asia, ROQUETTE serves customers all over the world in the food, paper/board, biochemicals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and animal nutrition sectors.

About METabolic EXplorer:

Created in 1999, METabolic EXplorer is a biochemical company. The company's goal is to help industrial manufacturing businesses to change, on the long-term, the way they produce their goods by moving away from ever-scarcer, petrochemical-derived feedstocks.

By exploiting the tried and tested principle of industrial fermentation, METabolic EXplorer offers ways of circumventing todays burdensome and expensive petrochemical processes via the use of an extensive range of renewable and sustainable raw materials. By optimizing the yield of non-pathogenic bacteria in a controlled, confined environment, the company is contributing to the manufacture of chemical compounds which are then incorporated in a wide range of everyday items (such as paints, solvents plastics and textiles) and specialized products like surgical thread and animal feed. This alternative solution (implemented via the development of renewable bioprocesses) is currently focused on 5 products, with a market worth an estimated $14 billion. This will be enforced through non-exclusive industrial alliances and joint-ventures with chemical companies worldwide. METabolic EXplorer is based in Clermont-Ferrand, France and is listed in Paris (Eurolist B, METEX).

The elements included in this communication may contain forward-looking statements subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results of the company may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements because of different risks factors described in the company's document de reference.

Source: METabolic EXplorer (METEX)


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