AE Biofuels, Inc. announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Zymetis, Inc., a Maryland-based industrial biotechnology company that develops products for the renewable chemicals and advanced fuels industries. Zymetis, Inc. will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AE Biofuels.
Zymetis holds four granted patents and more than ten pending patents on the Z-microbe™, a marine organism that was originally discovered consuming plant cellulose at a high rate in the Chesapeake Bay. The genome of the Z-microbe has been fully sequenced by researchers at the University of Maryland. Zymetis’ scientists discovered that the Z-microbe naturally generates about 90 enzymes that rapidly convert sugar, starch, and cellulose into useable chemicals and fuels.
By using the genetics of plants and microbes that naturally produce specialty chemicals, the Z-microbe has been converted to produce renewable chemicals and advanced fuels from renewable feedstocks.
“Zymetis’ technology has already demonstrated the production of high-value chemicals to supply multi-billion-dollar global markets, but we lacked a commercialization platform,” said Dr. Steve Hutcheson, founder of Zymetis and a 25-year genetic biology professor at the University of Maryland. “AE Biofuels has demonstrated operational global management capability, constructed and operated advanced biofuels plants, and has already achieved success in creating and adopting new technology through the conversion of first-generation biofuels facilities.”
“The combination of AE Biofuels and Zymetis enables the launch of new specialty chemical and renewable fuels products at an accelerated rate compared to the normal product development and construction cycle of three years or more,” said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of AE Biofuels, Inc. “The technical and chemicals business development team at Zymetis joins almost 100 global employees at AE Biofuels who currently operate 105 million gallons per year of biofuels plant capacity in the United States and India,” McAfee added.
The technical team of Zymetis will join AE Biofuels in similar roles, and Zymetis founder Dr. Steve Hutcheson will join the board of directors of AE Biofuels.
AE Biofuels issued 6,673,555 common shares to Zymetis shareholders in the transaction, with 766,000 of the shares vesting over a three-year period.