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Codon Devices to Develop Enzymes for Agrividia’s Corn-based Ethanol Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Codon Devices will use its BioLogic engineering platform to develop enzymes to be used in ethanol production by the agro-biotechnology company Agrividia.
Codon said the agreement with Agrividia, which will include royalties and performance-based payments, is part of its newly launched BioLogic Engineering Partnering Program.
The BioLogic platform is used in the “design, discovery and optimization of proteins for specific applications,” and relies on the company’s BioFab Production Platform, which makes low-cost synthetic genes, Codon said.
Agrividia plans to use enzymes Codon develops to break down the entire corn plant, including the leaves, stalks, and husks, which account for around fifty percent of the total biomass yield per acre, Codon said. These parts of the corn plant currently cannot be converted into ethanol in an economical manner. Enzymes based on those that already exist in the plant that could break down parts of the whole organism for use as ethanol could greatly increase yield, and make corn-based ethanol a more viable option for mass biofuel, the company said.
"With traditional approaches to developing such enzymes, this normally would be a one- to two-year project with no certainty of the outcome,” said Codon’s CSO, Brian Baynes, in a statement. With the new engineering platform, he said the company expects to be able to deliver these optimized enzymes to Agrividia in six to nine months.