Lygos Upgrades Technology Capabilities to Accelerate Microbial Cell Factory Development Timelines

Sep 5, 2019


Latest technology investments automate strain screening and development processes to meet growing demand for bio-based specialty chemicals

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 5, 2019 — Lygos, Inc., a full-stack producer of specialty chemicals that deliver high-value performance without environmental toxicity, today announced the expansion of its technology platform capabilities. Lygos recently commissioned automated equipment to assist its scientists and engineers in optimizing microbe performance, accelerating fermentation development, and scaling operations to meet the growing demand for sustainable bio-based specialty chemicals and ingredients. These investments were designed to create new organisms capable of producing products currently made from harmful petroleum processes or are otherwise limited in supply.

The expanded capabilities enable parallel processes that leverage advances in miniaturization, high-throughput automation, and machine learning technologies. “With our Series B financing, we upgraded our robotics and automation capabilities to create improved microbial cell factories at faster rates. Our work focuses on the cell’s ‘malonic acid superhighway’, which is capable of producing many valuable products. This technology enables us to make new products faster, using inexpensive, sustainable starting materials like plant sugar,” said Eric Steen, PhD, CEO of Lygos. “We are now well-positioned to achieve our goal of delivering a new microbe capable of producing our flagship Bio-Malonic™ Acid products in processes competitive with fossil fuel-derived competition. We hope to produce up to 20,000 tons of one of these products, Diethyl Malonate (Bio-DEM™), by 2025, but all of our current products and pipeline products will benefit from these technology upgrades.”

“These investments automate and improve the tools our R&D teams use for high-throughput strain development,” said Jeffrey Dietrich, CTO of Lygos, “Strain generation and analysis efficiencies have significantly improved, and we expect to more than double the number fermentation runs this year and to develop more unique strains to significantly improve our ability to create new products. We are excited about these new advancements, as every member of our team shares a sense of urgency about replacing our reliance on fossil fuel technology with cleaner, more efficient biotechnology.”

Lygos’ proprietary technology platform is based on a combination of computational modeling of microbial metabolism, specialized microbe engineering and screening technologies, coupled with machine learning to accelerate and improve data analysis. The company applies its biotechnology platform to deliver the benefits of petroleum-based and other industrial chemical technologies without environmental toxicity at competitive prices. Lygos’ customers seek sustainable cost-efficient solutions for applications where industrial chemistry uses expensive, environmentally degrading options or has none to offer.

About Lygos

Lygos has created a full-stack biological engineering platform focused on organic acid specialty chemicals 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, the Lygos logo, Bio-Malonic, and BIO-DEM are trademarks of Lygos, Inc. All other brands may be trademarks of their respective holders.