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Biopolymer maker Metabolix finds a new manufacturing partner

Metabolix Inc. has taken the first steps toward having a manufacturer biopolymer resins for the first time in six months, with an agreement with a Madrid-based producer of pharmaceutical ingredients for the production at a manufacturing...


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July 27, 2012 by Canadian Plastics

Metabolix Inc. has taken the first steps toward having a manufacturer biopolymer resins for the first time in six months, with an agreement with a Madrid-based producer of pharmaceutical ingredients for the production at a manufacturing facility in Leon, Spain.

According to a statement by Cambridge, Mass.-based Metabolix, it has signed a letter of intent with Antibioticos S.A. for production of Mirel, a plant-based polyhydroxyalkanoates resin used to make compost bags and other consumer items.

In January, a joint venture between Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Co. to manufacture Mirel ended when Archer Daniels backed out of the deal, leaving the company without a manufacturer.

Antibioticos has been manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients for more than 50 years.

Under the agreement new agreement, Metabolix, which now has about 100 employees, will immediately start test runs to demonstrate the manufacturing process of Mirel on production-scale equipment at Antibioticos. The companies plan to enter into a definitive contract manufacturing agreement based on the tests as well as economic and engineering feasibility studies.

“The agreement with Antibioticos represents a significant step forward in establishing a new supply chain for Mirel biopolymers to serve our customers worldwide and to continue product development in high value-added applications,” saidRichard P. Eno, president and chief executive officer ofMetabolix. “In addition, Antibioticos is located in theEuropean Unionnear many of our targeted customers.”

Metabolix, which is currently supplying Mirel to customers from an existing inventory of about 5 million pounds, will own the Mirel biopolymer resin produced during the validation production runs.