Verdezyne, Lallemand to create GM yeast

By Luke Geiver | March 16, 2010
Posted April 8, 2010

Verdezyne Inc., a biotechnology developer, and Lallemand Ethanol Technology, a yeast provider to the ethanol industry, have partnered to develop a commercial, genetically modified yeast for use in ethanol production. To produce the yeast, Lallemand will provide a yeast strain, and Verdezyne will use its metabolic engineering tools to create a new metabolic pathway for the yeast.

"Verdezyne is excited about this partnership, and we are looking forward to a highly productive collaboration with Lallemand, a global leader in fermentation technology," said E. William Radany, president and CEO of Verdezyne. "We are confident that our combined efforts will allow us to accelerate development and commercialization of this innovative yeast."

Through the partnership, Lallemand will be responsible for process development, manufacturing and commercialization of the yeast, while Verdezyne will receive patent license fees and royalty payments.

"We believe Verdezyne is the right partner to develop an enhanced yeast with properties that are very desirable to today's ethanol producers," said Bill Nankervis, president of Lallemand Specialties Inc., and general manager of Lallemand Ethanol Technology. "This agreement represents a commitment on behalf of Verdezyne and Lallemand to provide a superior yeast that will deliver improved profitability and sustainability to our customers."

To develop the yeast, Verdezyne will run a series of studies to validate the yeast and will test the yeast for use on a large scale. The expected completion date is 2012. According to Verdezyne, each one percent increase in yield will net the producer an additional 1.5 cents of net margin/gallon of ethanol produced after using the yeast at a typical dry mill plant.