We produce bio-advantaged chemicals

Bio-advantaged chemicals are those where petrochemistry cannot compete with biochemistry, where biological production provides a compelling economic or technical advantage over existing chemical syntheses.

Our Technology

Our target products are the specialty chemicals of today that can grow into the commodity chemicals of tomorrow. The primary hurdles restricting market growth of these chemicals is their current high production cost or environmentally hazardous production process. We address both these problems using a low-cost microbial fermentation technology, enabling over $25B in downstream value to be unlocked using our technology.

We make our products using commercially proven, acid-tolerant yeast. We have developed a suite of high-throughput engineering technologies that enable us to rapidly prototype and optimize our microbes, enabling low-cost, rapid technology scaleup.

Many of our target products are organic acids, compounds that are expensive to synthesize using petrochemistry but can be produced at high theoretical yield microbially. A high yielding process means less sugar is required to produce each kilogram of product, decreasing operating costs and lowering exposure to changing raw material (e.g., corn) prices. For some compounds, a theoretical yield greater than 100% can be achieved by sinking carbon dioxide. Low operating costs is a fundamental reason why microbial production of organic acids (e.g., itaconic, lactic, citric, and succinic acids) has been more successful than biofuels (e.g., farnesane, bio-diesel, butanol, and ethanol).



Lowest cost route to target products
Rapid commercialization strategy
Industrially proven microbes
Enabling market

Malonic Acid

Malonic acid is a C3-dicarboxylic acid currently used as an intermediate in the synthesis of numerous flavors, fragrances and pharmaceuticals.

While capable of being used in a wider variety of applications, demand has been held back by malonic acid’s environmentally hazardous, expensive production process. The current process used to produce malonic acid requires sodium cyanide and chloroacetic acid; Lygos’ engineered yeast produces malonic acid from sugar and CO2.

By decreasing malonic acid’s production cost, we are enabling its use for production of various polymer, solvent, and adhesive molecules. We aim to develop many of these downstream applications along with our commercial partners.

Lygos malonic acid intellectual property portfolio covers our engineered microbes, our metabolic pathways, our engineered enzymes, our methods to produce malonic acid, and our methods to purify malonic acid, among others. Please refer to published U.S. patent application PCT/US2013/029441.

Developed, proprietary metabolic pathway
Manufactured from
sugar and CO2
Producing at
pilot plant scale
Partnering to develop downstream applications