METabolic EXplorer in the 1st half of 2016: Progress in the development of L-Methionine

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METabolic EXplorer in the 1st half of 2016: Progress in the development of L-Methionine

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Clermont-Ferrand, 27 September 2016 – METabolic EXplorer, a biological chemistry company that specialises in developing manufacturing bioprocesses for bio-based compounds used in a wide range of everyday products, including textile fibres, animal feed supplements and resins,- recalls the highlights of its activity in the first half of 2016.

H1 2016: Launch of inoLaTM, an additive rich in METEX L-Methionine

The first half of 2016 featured the launch of inoLaTM, a new additive for animal nutrition. This mix, rich in METEX L-Methionine, contains secondary amino acids and organic acids which contribute towards animal nutrition and/or health improvements.

This launch of an innovative, 100% natural product responds to a strong demand in the animal feed industry and falls directly in line with the societal and environmental developments of a market which is currently in the midst of transformation.

The additional tests which have just been carried out* demonstrate a nutritional effectiveness of inoLa™ 35% higher than petrochemical DL-Methionine and confirm the prospects of this new technology. Beyond the advantages relating to the performance and competitiveness of this new feed additive, inoLa™ represents a real opportunity for players in animal nutrition, particularly in terms of quality and development of responsible livestock production chains.

* inoLaTM communication dated 6 September 2016


Review of the other technologies PDO and MPG:

PDO: the commercial discussions with a view to the industrial development of this technology continued during the first half of 2016. The company recalls that PDO is used either for manufacturing PTT (polyester essential for the production of high-performance textile fibres, wrapping films and innovative plastics), or for niche applications with greater added value.

Regarding PTT, METabolic EXplorer signed an agreement protocol with Technip* aiming to develop a shared offer combining METEX’s PDO and Technip’s PTT technologies. With regard to niche applications, METEX continued the discussions with a view to build a production unit on an existing industrial site.

* Communication dated 23 August 2016


MPG: the programme led with the Finnish group UPM, a leader in the wood/paper sector, is being carried out according to the roadmap established by the two partners. METabolic EXplorer recalls that this partnership aimed to develop a monopropylene glycol (MPG, or 1.2 propanediol*) production process by fermenting second generation cellulose sugars.

Aside from the benefits of this new biosourced technological advancement, the raw materials used by this process are not in competition with food applications. As a reminder, the industrial management of this process will be carried out on the METabolic EXplorer site at Saint-Beauzire. The aim is to achieve the creation of the process book making it possible to grant non-exclusive licences, in particular to UPM if it decides to roll out the technology.

*Biosourced chemical intermediary in applications such as high-performance unsaturated polyester resins, paints, solvents and liquids, as well as for pharmaceutical, hygiene and cosmetic compounds.


Review of cash flow:

In the first half of 2016, METabolic EXplorer recorded a turnover of €928k (nil as at H1 2015) linked to the contractual revenues from development with the partner UPM within the framework of the MPG programme. Other portions of income are expected in the financial year 2016 within a contractual framework which remains confidential.

At the same time, in this half year, METEX continued its policy of strict management of operating expenditure without calling into question the investment necessary for the industrial development of its three proprietary technologies.

This policy resulted in a slight increase in R&D expenditure, in particular to carry out nutritional effectiveness tests on L-Methionine. As a reminder, development costs are not activated any longer but are now fully recognised as an expense. METEX also maintained its efforts in commercial and administrative terms in order to work on better development of these technologies.

Finally, METabolic EXplorer has maintained its net income at a level equivalent to that of the 1st half of 2015 (-€3.6M as against -€3.5M).

Gross cash available as at 30 June 2016 was €5.2M as against €9.2M at the end of 2015. Aside from the operating expenditure, this variation includes investment made during the half year: €0.4M for intellectual property and €0.1M in fixed assets for the improvement of the three processes under development. Furthermore, it should be specified that this cash sum does not include the Crédit Impôt Recherche (research tax credit) sum received in July 2016 (€2M).

Between the end of December 2015 and June 2016, financial debt fell by €0.1M to reach €7.6M: the reimbursements of leases (-€0.8M) were offset by the increase of a reimbursable advance of €0.7M (balance of the Bio2Chem aid for MPG programme).


2016 prospects:

The methods to develop the three METEX technologies will be adapted to each of the products and for each of the players in the industry, upstream or downstream:

  • L-Methionine: continuation of discussions under way with several partners and, in parallel, examination of the opportunity to transfer patents attached to this technology, (cf. communication dated 1st August 2016 and summons to a Mixed General Meeting on 29 September 2016)
  • PDO: study of different site scenarios with a view to an industrial PDO production unit to address high value added niche markets
  • MPG: following the roadmap of the partnership with UPM and the Valchem consortium.


– END-

About METabolic EXplorer-

METabolic EXplorer is a biological chemistry company founded in 1999. Its aim is to harness its biotechnological innovations to contribute to alternative production methods for consumer goods that are safe for the environment and that meet new social expectations of consumers. Based on the tried and tested principle of industrial fermentation, METabolic EXplorer’s solutions replace today’s petrochemical processes through the use of a wide range of plant-based raw materials.

By optimizing the metabolic yield of non-pathogenic bacteria in a contained, controlled environment, the company facilitates the production of chemical compounds used in a wide range of everyday goods (textile fibers, plastics, resins, solvents, or feed supplements for animal nutrition and health).

METabolic EXplorer, based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is part of the CAC Small index.

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In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.