REG delivers first Life Sciences commercial product

By Renewable Energy Group Inc. | October 31, 2016

REG Life Sciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Renewable Energy Group Inc., has delivered its first commercial product, a specialty fatty acid, the company announced Oct. 31.

REG developed, produced and delivered approximately 1 metric ton of the renewable, multifunctional chemical to Aroma Chemical Services International, a leading specialty manufacturer and supplier of flavor and fragrance ingredients. REG has been actively working with ACS to identify, develop and bring to market fragrance and flavor derivatives based on the REG Life Sciences’ proprietary technology. ACS will use the specialty chemical for the production of a high-performance musk ingredient for sale into the $620 million global musk ingredient market.

“We are proud to have achieved this key milestone and are confident that the musk will enjoy commercial success, creating growing demand for our multifunctional fatty acid,” said Eric M. Bowen, head of REG Life Sciences and vice president of corporate business development and legal affairs. “We have identified over 500 candidate compounds from our platform, several of which we believe could lead to attractive follow-on opportunities in the global musk market.”

“We have been working very hard to develop a robust and high-quality process that will enable this first product to be successful,” said Brad Albin, vice president of manufacturing.

Fatty acids are one of three product areas REG Life Sciences has focused on, along with esters and alcohols. Work on this product began last year after REG and ACS identified the specialty fatty acid as particularly well-suited for the production of a high-performance musk.

“Together, REG Life Sciences and ACS have identified a number of potentially valuable flavor and fragrance ingredients based on REG’s proprietary technology that we plan to develop and bring to market in the near future,” said Steve del Cardayre, vice president of research at REG Life Sciences.

ACS leaders welcomed delivery of the renewable chemical. “We are very excited to see our joint efforts come to fruition through a powerful combination of industrial biotechnology and unique processing solutions,” said Koenraad Vanhessche, vice president of innovation and business development at ACS. “Moreover, this integrated fatty acid synthetic biology platform is the first of its kind in the field of flavor and fragrance and enables quick and cost-effective access to a plethora of targets previously beyond anyone’s scope.”

“ACS International Group is very pleased to work with REG Life Sciences to develop these fragrance and flavor ingredients some of which have the potential to become major new building blocks for the F&F Industry,” said Thomas J. Plocek, managing director. “It is a pleasure to be able to use renewable feedstocks that can create beautiful consumer products while being produced in a way that protects the environment and expands the application of safe biotechnology into more industrial products. Earlier in my career I coined the expression, ‘The esthetics of manufacturing.’ To me, it is wonderful to make esthetically pleasing products in an esthetically pleasing way.”

“Our partnership has deliberately targeted key ingredients in the flavor and fragrance industry,” said Dan Hirlea, CEO of ACS International. “When combined with the other components of the ACS International business model, namely sustainability, reliability, creativity and respect, it will allow us to drive this project to its successful conclusion.”

A video on the first commercial product from REG Life Sciences, part of a series celebrating REG’s 10-year anniversary as an independent company, can be viewed here.


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