Amyris closes on potential $300M cannabinoid deal with biotech group Lavvan

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.

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5 comments on “Amyris closes on potential $300M cannabinoid deal with biotech group Lavvan
  1. Maxcatski on

    Biosynthesis can only be good if it duplicates the entire profile of the plant. And that is not yet possible since science has not yet identified all the effective components in cannabis.

    Cronos and their lab grown cannabinoids are one step closer to natural than completely synthetic compounds. However, I will stick with the whole plant in its natural form.

  2. cali on

    This is the first stage of exploiting and hurting the cannabis business — synthetic cannabinoids ARE NOT THE SAME as the plant derived form.

    • Burg on

      Actually, it is the same. Plants have a variety of cannabinoids, but the active ingredient is the same. Also, using synthetic biology to make these molecules is not exploiting the cannabis business. It is a legitimate use of technology to make therapeutics molecules more accessible at higher yields.

  3. Patrick on

    Is this a stock promotion scheme? Is Paradigm invested? Perhaps an opportunity for the minor cannabinoids…the ones that are hard to grow or express naturally.

    • Maxcatski on

      That’s absolutely correct, Patrick. Cronos plans to produce cannabinoids that occur in extremely low concentrations naturally. It is not possible to extract these in commercial quantities so they plan to produce them in the lab. This may lead to new medical applications.

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