Amyris closes on potential $300M cannabinoid deal with biotech firm

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Amyris, a California-based company focused on wellness products, said it has closed a deal potentially worth $300 million with biotech startup Lavvan to research and develop synthetic cannabinoids.

The move follows that of Canada’s Cronos Group inking a $122 million deal with Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks last September to produce lab-grown cannabinoids.

Analysts at Toronto-based Paradigm Capital said in a note that it expects a rash of deals in this sector to follow.

“Synthetic biology is becoming a cornerstone technology in the portfolios of forward-thinking companies,” Paradigm Capital wrote.

“Companies developing products solely from the cultivation of cannabis plants will find themselves unable to compete with the manifold advantages associated with industrial-scale cannabinoid biosynthesis.”

Amyris trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AMRS.

Lavvan is a privately held startup with executives from the pharmaceutical, financial and cannabis industries.

More details on the Amyris deal can be found here.