BioAmber and Reverdia Sign Non-Assert Pact

15.01.2016 -

Netherlands-based biomaterials producer Reverdia has signed a non-assert agreement with BioAmber of the US with regard to intellectual property rights for bio-succinic acid. The two companies – Reverdia is a 50:50 joint venture of Dutch chemical group DSM and French starch and derivatives producer Roquette Frères – are rival producers of the acid, using their respective proprietary yeast-based processes.

Under the agreement, Reverdia, in exchange for an undisclosed fee, will not to try to pursue IP claims against BioAmber. No further details were provided. One interpretation suggests that the US company has been granted the right to use the yeast produced by the Dutch-French jv in its own process. The companies’ production facilities are on different continents, but both hope to sell globally.

In any case, the arrangement will allow the two players to continue implementing their respective businesses, using their own unique, proprietary yeast-based technologies. The chief executives of both, Reverdia’s Marcel Lubben and BioAmber’s Jean-François Huc, underscored that “the market will benefit from having strong players able to deliver on the rapidly growing demand in bio-plastics, polyurethanes, solvents, coatings and other applications.”

Huc noted that the arrangement will allow BioAmber to eliminate the risk of litigation and uncertainty at a predictable cost. By working with partners in the industry, Lubben said “we will speed up the adoption of bio-based materials and validate bio-based succinic acid as a key building block for the bio-based economy. “Yeast-based technologies have a significant competitive advantage over bacteria-based technologies,” he added.

Both companies last year signed agreements with Covestro, the former Bayer MaterialScience, covering use of the acid in new polyurethane applications.

Reverdia began offering licenses for its technology in October 2014. In December 2015 it signed a collaboration agreement with South African distributor Protea Chemicals for distribution of the bio-succinic acid in Africa and Australia.

In October 2015, Minnesota-based company BioAmber inauguarated a 30,000 t/y commercial-scale plant for biosuccinic acid at Sarnia, Canada, as part of its joint venture with Japan’s Mitsui.

The global succinic acid market was valued at around $ 245.5 million in 2014 and is expected to reach approximate $900.1 million by 2020. Bio-succinic acid producers expect to account for a growing share of the total.