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Slew of deals for Emeryville biotech firm Amyris

Amyris Biotechnologies, an Emeryville-based synthetic fuel firm, has kept busy recently. The company, which filed for a $100-million initial public offering in April, seemed to spend the last week announcing a bevy of deals it had signed, most revolving around the synthetic farnesene product Biofene that Amyris hopes to produce commercially.

The product, made with Brazilian sugar cane, could be modified for diesel fuel, cosmetics and industrial lubricants and to replace petroleum-based items.

On Monday, Amyris said it was pairing with Brazilian ethanol producer Cosan to develop chemicals for industrial and automotive applications. The same day, it announced a partnership with French cosmetics ingredients company Soliance.

Amyris said Tuesday that French oil giant Total had agreed, for $133 million, to acquire a 17% equity interest in the biotechnology company. Total now has the right to appoint a member of Amyris’ board of directors.

The company took a break Wednesday but was back the next day with two more announcements: a series of agreements with Procter & Gamble Co. and a collaboration with Italian chemical engineering company M&G Finanziaria.

Finally, on Friday, Amyris released details about a deal with Shell for the oil and gas company to purchase renewable biodiesel. Earlier this week, Amyris was ranked as one of 30 biofuel organizations providing "transformative technologies."

-- Tiffany Hsu
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