August 4, 2009

Industrial Biotech Interview: Codexis

Codexis, a California-based biotech company, have been active mostly in the pharma and healthcare sector but its focus has now expanded to next generation biofuels (through its partnership with Shell) and very soon, in carbon capture and water treatment.

President and CEO Alan Shaw highlights the company's proprietary biocatalytic chemical processing technology (which uses synthetic enzymes) and how it can make manufacturing cleaner, faster and more efficient. Shaw also talked about the current state of the industrial biotechnology sector, the importance of partnership, and company milestones in the next few years.

Q: Can you begin with a short summary and an overview of Codexis?

Shaw: We are a biotechnology company but the market that we addressed are those that benefit from clean technology. With our technology, we can improve existing markets like pharmaceuticals and at the same time create new markets such as biofuels and carbon capture. We can create synthetic super enzymes that are customized to do just the job that our customers want them to do. Most of the products we sell are biocatalysts - the solutions they provide and the processes they enable. However, our core technology is largely around bioinformatics and basically the use of high throughput screening methods.

Q: How is the company's current financial standing?

Shaw: Codexis is doing extemely well. We're fairly successful in financing and never had any problems raising money. Unlike other biotechnology companies, financing is never an issue for us. We have a strong balance sheet and more than what we need at the moment. The company is moving towards profitability.

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