Lygos Announces Key Leadership Appointments

Aug 27, 2021

Photon Rao promoted to VP Legal Affairs
Jim Millis added to Advisory Board

BERKELEY, CA, Aug. 27, 2021 Lygos, Inc., a vertically integrated provider of safe and sustainable specialty ingredients, today announced the promotion of Photon Rao to Vice President of Legal Affairs and the appointment of Jim Millis to its Board of Advisors.

“These appointments underscore Lygos’ recent growth as we steadily increase our offerings of high-quality sustainable organic acids and cannabinoid ingredients,” stated Eric Steen, PhD, CEO of Lygos, “Photon’s scientific and legal acumen, in addition to his proven track record of driving business priorities, will continue to help position Lygos for long-term success in this dynamic and evolving market. Jim’s deep experience in the commercialization of numerous bio-based products along with his technology expertise will be an invaluable resource during this exciting time of continued growth.”

Dr. Rao has more than 15 years of business-focused IP strategy, procurement and protection experience, in addition to legal affairs expertise. His background includes establishing strong IP platforms for emerging companies as well as participating in IP-related deals totaling more than $2 billion. Prior to joining Lygos in 2018, he worked at an American Lawyer 100 firm and as the Director of IP at Threshold Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Rao received his PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and completed his post-doctoral research at the Louis Pasteur University (Strasbourg I) and the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has co-authored several important papers in peer-reviewed journals, including Angewandte Chemie, and is a named inventor in numerous patents and patent applications.

Mr. Millis brings over 30 years of experience in the commercialization of numerous bio-based chemicals. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Nature’s Fynd, a leading food company growing sustainable protein from a microbe with origins in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park. Previously, Mr. Millis was the Chief Technology Officer of BioAmber Inc. and President and CEO of Draths Corporation. Earlier in his career, he was Technical Director of Industrial Bioproducts at Cargill and Process Development Director at Codexis. Mr. Millis earned his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

About Lygos
Lygos has created a full-stack biological engineering platform focused on organic acid specialty ingredients, health & wellness ingredients, including cannabinoids and bio-monomers. Lygos’ sustainable, bio-based chemicals replace expensive, environmentally degrading alternatives from traditional industrial suppliers, enabling customers to create better, safer products with value-added performance. For more information, visit and follow us @LygosBiotech.

Lygos and the Lygos logo are trademarks of Lygos, Inc. Any other brands may be trademarks of their respective holders.



Investor Contact:
Sherri Spear
Argot Partners

Media Contact:
Ethan Andersen
Argot Partners