Maxygen, Chevron to develop new bulk chemical bioprocesses

Maxygen Inc., Redwood City, Calif., signed a 3-year agreement with Chevron Research & Technology Co. to develop bioprocesses for specific petrochemical products. Maxygen's work with Chevron will initially focus on the bioconversion of methane to methanol.


Maxygen Inc., Redwood City, Calif., signed a 3-year agreement with Chevron Research & Technology Co. to develop bioprocesses for specific petrochemical products. Maxygen's work with Chevron will initially focus on the bioconversion of methane to methanol.

The company said bioprocesses are in some cases cheaper and more environmentally friendly than conventional chemical processes.

Chevron will have commercialization rights to the technology in exchange for license fees, technology access fees, full research funding, annual fees, and product royalties.

"Biological materials are likely to play an increasing role as a carbon source for fuels and chemical processes going forward," said Dr. Keith Powell, Maxygen's vice-president of chemicals.

Maxygen's business strategy calls for it to partner with leaders in segments of the chemical industry where capital investment, large-scale manufacturing, access to raw materials, and a channel to market are impractical to develop internally, said Tassos Gianakakos, business development manager for Maxygen's chemical division.

More in Companies