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Codexis, Molecular Assemblies Ink Enzyme Engineering Collaboration Agreement

NEW YORK – Protein engineering company Codexis and Molecular Assemblies, a developer of enzymatic DNA synthesis technology, said on Tuesday that they will collaborate to engineer enzymes for improved and cost-effective DNA synthesis.

Under the terms of the agreement, Redwood City, California-based Codexis will purchase $1 million in Molecular Assemblies' Series A preferred stock, and Codexis President and CEO John Nicols will join Molecular Assemblies' board of directors. Codexis is also eligible to earn additional Series A preferred stock, including success-based milestones, which is expected to accumulate to an ownership stake in Molecular Assemblies in excess of 10 percent, the companies said.

Codexis will apply its CodeEvolver platform technology to improve the DNA polymerase enzymes that are needed for enzymatic DNA synthesis. The CodeEvolver protein engineering technology enables the rapid development of highly optimized proteins. San Diego-based Molecular Assemblies will combine its chemistries with Codexis' enzymes to drive the enzymatic synthesis process to commercialization.

"At Codexis, we are firm believers in the future-shaping potential of enzymatic DNA synthesis," Nicols said in a statement. "As we researched potential partners, we identified Molecular Assemblies as a pioneer in this field with a strong team and an industry-leading intellectual property position. Significant enzyme improvements from today's standards are required to reach technical and economic viability, improvements we believe only our CodeEvolver technology has the potential to achieve."

Molecular Assemblies President and CEO Michael Kamdar also noted that sustainable, scalable, cost-effective, and on-demand DNA production has applications in a broad range of industries, including synthetic biology, therapeutics, agriculture, and DNA data storage.