National Corn Growers Association Names Lygos Winner of International Award for its Bio-Malonate™ Manufacturing Technology


BERKELEY, Calif., April 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lygos, a leading innovator in developing sustainable high-value specialty chemicals, was named an international winner of the Consider Corn Challenge by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), an advocate for corn farmers in the United States. This $25,000 award recognizes Lygos’ achievements around developing its breakthrough Bio-Malonate™ manufacturing technology and its promising applications poised to impact the $50 billion annual corn industry.

“Lygos’ mission is to change the world by replacing petrochemistry with biochemistry, unlocking both existing chemicals and creating those that are new-to-the-world -- this award inspires our team to push even harder,” said Eric Steen, Lygos CEO and co-founder. “At Lygos, we are committed to creating new U.S. manufacturing opportunities that replace oil with sugar to make chemicals made today only in countries with lax environmental regulations and at great cost to the environment. We’ve just begun with our Bio-Malonic™ Acid Program, which we believe will foster a $360 million annual business back to the U.S., tripling to more than $1 billion over the next decade.”

“This Challenge identifies and stimulates creation of new uses beyond ethanol and our relationship with the animal feed industry,” said Jim Bauman, NCGA director of market development. “Current U.S. corn production exceeds annual domestic and export demand so we must continue to expand new sources of demand each year. We found Lygos’ proprietary and patented technology for making malonic acid and its numerous useful derivatives most deserving of our award not only because of the extraordinary potential for increasing corn consumption but also because, in doing so, Lygos will diminish fossil fuel dependence and environmental degradation. Lygos’ entry, along with this year’s other winners, stood out due to their potential to achieve commercial production combined with the volume of incremental corn demand their processes may require.”

The challenge highlighted corn’s ability to improve the environmental footprint of everyday consumer products. Lygos’ first corn-derived bio-products – malonic acid and its derivatives – are used in composites and coatings, electronics, flavors and fragrances, and pharmaceuticals. Lygos is advancing its proprietary technology and expanding its portfolio of renewable products to replace low-quality, fossil-based products manufactured overseas at high economic and environmental costs.

About Lygos, Inc.
Lygos makes microbial-based manufacturing solutions at the juncture of biology and technology that create market-transforming product opportunities. Lygos' first products -- malonic acid and derivatives -- replace low-quality petrochemical products produced at high economic and environmental cost in countries without strong environmental protection programs. Lygos is venture-backed by 50 Years, First Round Capital, IA Ventures, OS Fund, Vast Ventures and the Y Combinator Continuity Fund, along with notable angel investors. Lygos' R&D was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation.

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Lonn Johnston for Lygos