WEB EXCLUSIVE: Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and has signed a letter of intent to make its Mirel biopolymer resin at Antibioticos, S.A.in Leon, Spain.

 

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and has signed a letter of intent to make its Mirel biopolymer resin at Antibioticos, S.A.in Leon, Spain. Mirel is based on PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) produced by microbial fermentation of plant starch. Antibioticos, a producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients, boasts expertise in both fermentation and semi-synthesis processes. This move helps put Mirel back on track for commercial market development after former production partner Archer Daniels Midland pulled out of a joint venture with Metabolix in February.
 
Metabolix will immediately begin a series of validation production runs to demonstrate fermentation and recovery of Mirel on Antibioticos’ full production-scale equipment. The companies will enter into a definitive contract-manufacturing agreement for Mirel based on the validation production runs as well as the completion of economic and engineering feasibility studies. Metabolix will own the Mirel biopolymer resin produced during the validation production runs. Mirel biopolymer is biodegradable and suitable for a wide range of applications. Metabolix has previously demonstrated production of Mirel at industrial scale. It currently supplies Mirel from existing inventory of approx. 5 million lb.