August 24, 2010

Interview: Allylix

Allylix, which was briefly mentioned by the blog in the past, is a little bit different compared to other renewable chemical companies I've spoken to. For one thing, they are not focusing on commodity chemicals but in specialty chemicals particularly bio-engineered sesquiterpenes, which are chemical compounds used as flavors and fragrances, in insect repellants, anti-fungal products and pharmaceutical applications among others.

Talking to CEO Carolyn Fritz, Allylix was founded in 2005 and focuses its proprietary metabolic engineering/fermentation platform on renewable production of diverse terpenes at very low cost. Terpenes, in one form or another, have been commercialized for ages but up until now, there are no cost-effective ways to make them. Allylix said its technology uses a low-cost fermentation process based upon bio-engineered yeast strains that produce high-volume, customized terpenes.

In a more scientific wording: "Allylix's production technology utilizes metabolically-engineered yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing sesquiterpene synthases to produce sesquiterpenes in high-yielding formation."

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