Amyris (AMRS) Announces $5M Equity Investment from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

April 11, 2016 11:08 AM EDT

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Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMRS) announced the signing of a stock purchase agreement for a $5-million equity investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The investment is to fund a program to further reduce the cost of one of the world’s leading malaria treatments so that no child has to go without treatment for malaria. The program will focus on the continued production of high-quality and secure supplies of artemisinic acid and amorphadiene to be converted to artemisinin for use in artemisinin combination therapies (“ACTs”). ACTs are recommended by the World Health Organization (“WHO”) as the primary first-line treatment for malaria.

“We are very pleased with the Gates Foundation’s commitment to eradicating Malaria and are happy to be a part of this effort,” said John Melo, Amyris President & CEO. “We believe in a world where no child should go untreated and that no parent should have to make a choice between treating their child or feeding their family. Lower cost and sustainably-produced artemisinin is a key part of the spectrum of solutions that can help eradicate this disease from our planet.”

Continued Melo, “It is only through the work of public-private partnerships that these solutions can occur. With an advanced and proven platform, Amyris’s technology can, among other things, be used to accelerate drug discovery cost effectively while improving the global supply of important pharmaceuticals. And, we believe it is also poised to help leading pharmaceutical companies respond rapidly to pandemic crises, making the world a safer place for all of us.”

Amyris’s founding purpose was to demonstrate that biotechnology can be used to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as those outlined in the UN’s overall Millennium Development Goals. The company’s first major milestone came in 2005 when Amyris’s scientists developed technology capable of creating microbial strains to produce artemisinic acid.

Leading Science Recognized by the United Nations for Supporting Global Goals

Amyris was recognized in 2015 with a United Nations Global Citizen Award based on its contributions toward several aspects of the UN’s overall Millennium Development Goals, which are aligned toward reversing the global poverty, hunger and disease affecting billions of people. Among these contributions was the development of a synthetic source for the production of artemisinin.

Financial Details

Under the stock purchase agreement, the Gates Foundation agreed to purchase approximately $5 million of Amyris common stock at $1.14 per share, the average of the daily closing price per share of the common stock on NASDAQ for the twenty days prior to signing. Amyris expects the closing to occur on or about April 29, 2016, subject to customary closing conditions. Additional details of the transaction and a description of the securities are included in a related Current Report on Form 8-K, which the company filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in conjunction with this news release.

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