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We lead the synthetic biology industry, having developed and successfully commercialized the most Lab-to-Market™ ingredients. Our sustainable ingredients are used in thousands of top global brands, including our own family of consumer brands in Clean Beauty and Health markets.

Amyris Finalizes Cannabinoid Development, Licensing and Commercialization Agreement Containing $300 Million of R&D and Milestone Payments and a Long-Term Royalty Stream
LAVVAN Cites Amyris’s Proven Commercial Achievements and Capability to Bring to Market the Highest Quality Cannabinoids for Large Scale Use

EMERYVILLE, Calif., March 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), a leader in the development and production of sustainable ingredients for the Health & Wellness, Clean Beauty and Flavors & Fragrances markets, today announced that it has signed a final definitive agreement for cannabinoid development, licensing and commercialization containing $300 million of R&D and milestone payments plus long-term royalties. The agreement between Amyris and LAVVAN, Inc., a newly-formed company backed by leaders across the pharmaceutical, cannabis, and financial sectors, intends to bring the first fermentation-derived cannabinoid products to market. Today’s announcement follows the previously announced binding term sheet and includes further milestone payments related to additional targeted products.

Based on its expected development timeline, Amyris believes it can earn a significant portion of these milestone payments by the end of 2020, with $20-30 million anticipated in 2019, including a $10 million milestone payment that is expected to be recognized later this month.

Under the agreement, LAVVAN will be responsible for the global manufacture and commercialization of the cannabinoids. The consummation of the transactions contemplated by the agreement is subject to certain closing conditions.

As previously noted by the company, cannabinoids are closely related to terpenes, an area in which Amyris has substantial experience and expertise. Because of this prior terpene work, Amyris has completed a significant portion of the development steps toward the cannabinoid pathways. Importantly, because of Amyris’s highly automated processes, the company will not increase its research and development headcount to pursue and complete the project.

“We are delighted to have signed this partnership deal in the cannabinoids space,” said John Melo, Amyris President & CEO. “Amyris brings its proven technology platform in the synthetic biology sector that has brought leading products to market in skin care, flavors, fragrances, sweeteners and now cannabinoids to help improve health and quality of life at reduced cost with consistent quality and sustainably sourced. Our partner believes that we are the only company with the capability to globally commercialize CBD and bring cannabinoid products to consumer brands at a scale and consistency that will enable several product categories to achieve success at scale in delivering what consumers are seeking – a natural, sustainably-sourced cannabinoid product that improves quality of life and health. LAVVAN’s partnership will provide for broad distribution during commercialization along with the manufacturing support to meet significant demand growth for these products.”

“We feel that this project was simply made for our technology platform,” said Joel Cherry, Amyris President of Research & Development. “Based on our known success in bringing fermentation-based products to market and our demonstrated expertise in producing plant compounds in yeast, we have high confidence in achieving the partnership goals.”

“We are tremendously excited to be working with Amyris,” said Etan Bendheim, LAVVAN CEO. “We look forward to bringing the highest quality, best value cannabinoids to the market, beginning with CBD by early next year.”

Significant Expected Benefits of Amyris’s Fermentation-Based Cannabinoid Products

Products derived from fermentation are anticipated to have several significant benefits, including:  

  • Consistent purity and dosage
  • Improved yield of economically difficult-to-source, “rare” cannabinoids
  • 100% free from pesticides, non-GMO and naturally sourced
  • Sustainably-sourced products derived from rainfall-hydrated, natural sugarcane feedstock that results in less water and land usage relative to growing cannabis plants.

All R&D work executed by Amyris and all manufacturing work and commercialization activities done by LAVVAN will be conducted in compliance with all U.S. federal laws regarding controlled substances with adherence to state agency regulations.

About Amyris
Amyris is the integrated renewable products company that is enabling the world’s leading brands to achieve sustainable growth. Amyris applies its innovative bioscience solutions to convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules and produce specialty ingredients and consumer products. The company is delivering its No Compromise™ products and services across a number of markets, including specialty and performance chemicals, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. More information about the company is available at

LAVVAN, Inc. is a newly-formed company backed by leaders across the pharmaceutical, cannabis, and financial sectors. LAVVAN is focused on spearheading bio-based disruption of the cannabinoid sector and providing the market with superior cannabinoids at significantly reduced cost for a multitude of consumer product and therapeutic applications.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, and any statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding future events, such as expected milestone and royalty payments under the agreement, including the timing thereof, Amyris’s anticipated capability to commercialize CBD and other cannabinoid products, including the timing thereof, expected demand for and manufacturing and distribution of the products subject to the agreement, the anticipated benefits of fermentation-based cannabinoid products, expected headcount impact of the project, and anticipated compliance with U.S. federal laws and state agency regulations regarding controlled substances. These statements are based on management's current expectations and actual results and future events may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties, including risks related to Amyris's liquidity and ability to fund operating and capital expenses, risks related to potential delays or failures in development, production and commercialization of products, risks related to Amyris's reliance on third parties, and other risks detailed from time to time in filings Amyris makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Amyris disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Amyris, the Amyris logo and No Compromise are trademarks or registered trademarks of Amyris, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Peter DeNardo
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Amyris, Inc.
+1 (510) 740-7481

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