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Amyris Lands up to $8M under DARPA's Living Foundries Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Amyris said today that it has received a contract from the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that could total around $8 million to expand the scope of its synthetic biology technology across new biological platforms and cell types.

DARPA awarded the contract in connection with its Living Foundries Program, which seeks to create the fundamental production methods and tools, technologies, and methods required to make bio-engineering better, faster, and more accurate.

"Amyris' cutting edge technology platform has been used to produce a life-saving anti-malarial drug as well as renewable fuels and chemicals. In support of DARPA's Living Foundries program, we will leverage our technology expertise to develop improved DNA assembly and rapid integration across complex biological platforms," Amyris' President and CEO John Melo said in a statement.

Amyris said the full value of the contract will be conditioned on the company meeting certain technical milestones in connection with the Living Foundries program.

Under the Living Foundries program, DARPA recently awarded $15.6 million in new contracts for synthetic biology projects at several research universities and institutes.

Amyris is based in Emeryville, Calif., and its synthetic biology platform converts plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules for use in a range of products, including renewable ingredients in cosmetics, flavorings, fragrances, polymers, lubricants, and diesel and jet fuel, the company said.

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