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METabolic EXplorer First Half 2010 Activity: In Final Straight Prior to Marketing Proprietary Technology

Published on 2010-09-17. Author : SpecialChem

CLERMONT-FERRAND -- METabolic Explorer, 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 (textile fibres, paints, solvents, animal feed supplements, adhesives, etc.), announced its first-half 2010 results.


In addition to the noteworthy company developments in the first half of 2010 - the strengthening of our industrial portfolio and of our academic partnerships, the obtaining of new grants-in-aid, the strengthening of the Management team with the arrival of Antoine Darbois as Chief Financial Officer, together with additions to the workforce - two other items are especially noteworthy:

  • the finalization of our industrial infrastructure,
  • the first initiatives aimed at marketing METEX products.

Over the first six months of 2010, METabolic EXplorer installed the final PDO manufacturing systems that will enable it to decide whether to deploy the process itself on a proprietary basis and/or as part of a joint venture, and in so doing provide a practicable response to market demand for alternatives to hydrocarbon-derived chemical compounds.

Industrial infrastructure: 4,200m2 closely combining R&D, manufacturing, and sales and marketing developments.

The first half of 2010 saw the completion of the industrial infrastructure, enabling the company to tie together research, manufacture and marketing in order to validate the business model. The company now has 4,200m2 of premises housing a workforce of 110 operating in a cross-disciplinary structure.

The infrastructure most notably features the unique asset of a modular industrial pilot unit that will be used to pilot manufacture of several products derived from METEX processes.

First initiatives for marketing METEX products

Since the start of the year, the PDO industrial pilot had been producing a continuous stream of samples. Over one metric ton of these samples has been used for tests on the principal PDO applications in order to meet strong and growing demand from manufacturers interested in the technology. The finalizing of the process book (the guide which defines the complete set of data, parameters and equipment needed for industrial-scale manufacture of PDO) is clearly an accelerator for everyone concerned by the METEX product offering.

METEX PDO, manufactured using crude glycerol derived from a wide variety of plant-based feedstocks, is a compound for which demand is growing at over 20% a year and which is notably used in the manufacture of ultra-high performance textiles.

The flexibility of METEX technology means that end-users can envisage its commercial manufacture not only in Europe but also in South East Asia, since that very flexibility makes the process especially attractive for the countries most active in the sphere of biotechnology development.

The validation of the PDO process and its proven competitiveness now offer the choice of a commercial application according to the Company's two growth options, ie, either via a joint venture or own-account development. In both these cases, it will have easier access to plant-based feedstocks. The findings of application tests confirm METabolic EXplorer's ability to supply the market with industrial quantities of METEX PDO in 2012.

2010 Half-year results

Increase in operating expenses in line with development plan

In the first half of 2010 METabolic EXplorer increased its operating expenses as a result of ongoing commercial soundings, the operation of the industrial pilot unit, and the qualification of its products. It also stepped up its R&D activity. The company also recorded a non-recurrent loss of €0.6 million, corresponding to the impairment of certain tangible assets (interior fittings made obsolete by reconstruction work) or intangible assets (deliberate reduction in geographic coverage of certain patents in non-strategic countries).

Overall, the €4.0 million in operating expenses during the period, which are in line with the road map and include the operating cost of the pilot plant, were partly offset by income from activity of €0.4 million, net interest income of €0.2 million, and tax income of €1.2 million. The half-year net loss thus comes out €2.1 million. Continued high cash levels in step with company requirements During the first half, METabolic EXplorer finalized the investment necessary for building its industrial pilot and for the purchase and extension of its premises, for a total of €3.4 million, in line with the previously-announced budget.

Following these strategic investments, which bolstered METabolic EXplorer's assets, and thanks to its ongoing stringent treasury management policy, the company's financial situation is still extremely healthy and perfectly aligned with the company's requirements as it confidently gears up for its next development cycle. As at 30 June 2010 METabolic EXplorer had €69.9 million in shareholders' equity, €43.7 million in available cash and equivalent, and €31.9 million in cash and equivalent net of financial debt.

METabolic EXplorer has published its 2010 half-year Financial Report for the six months to 30 June 2010 and filed it with the AMF.

About METabolic EXplorer:

METabolic EXplorer is a biological chemistry company which was incorporated in 1999. Its goal is to help industrial businesses deal with the heralded "end of oil", so that they can continue to manufacture but in a sustainable way.

Based on the tried and tested principle of industrial fermentation, METabolic Explorer's solutions circumvent the problems posed by today's burdensome and expensive petrochemical processes via the use of a wide range of renewable, sustainable raw materials. By optimizing the metabolic yield of non-pathogenic bacteria in a contained, controlled environment, the company facilitates the production of chemical compounds used in a wide range of everyday goods (textile fibres, paints, solvents and adhesives ) and industrial products (such as animal feed).

METabolic EXplorer is currently focusing its alternative biological solutions (implemented by the development of renewable, fermentation-based bioprocesses) on the production of five compounds that together have an estimated, annual, end-market value of €11 billion. The company's strategy will be implemented worldwide in two ways: either via limited-exclusivity industrial partnerships, or via the creation of manufacturing facilities at METabolic EXplorer's own initiative.

Source: METabolic EXplorer

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