Codexis has denied breaching its licensing deal with Dyadic International and says losing rights to the C1 fungal expression system would hit its CodeXyme business hard.
Earlier this month Codexis announced it had been accused by Dyadic of breaching a 2008 deal covering use of the latter’s Chrysosporium lucknowense based expression system in the production of the enzymes for various industrial applications.
CEO John Nicols rejected the allegation and set out Codexis’ position last week in a rescheduled second quarter results, describing the Dyadic claims as “unjustified and without any legal or factual basis.”
“We believe that we are not in breach of the agreement and are considering all available remedies to protect our interests under the Dyadic license agreement, while in parallel engaging in discussions to try to resolve the matter directly with Dyadic.”
Under the non-exclusive agreement Codexis uses the C1 tech to produce enzymes that convert cellulosic biomass – the inedible part of plants – into sugars that can be converted into everything from bio fuels to chemicals.
Codexis sells these enzymes under its CodeXyme brand, which would suffer if – as has been threatened – Dyadic decides to terminate the agreement according to Nicols.
“It would be very difficult for Codexis to rebuild its technology position for CodeXyme, should we lose the Dyadic license,” he said, adding that it would be unlikely that Codexis is unlikely to find a replacement to the C1 expression system.
“Companies like Novozymes and DuPont are highly unlikely to license to a company like Codexis…because this business is a core area for their companies as well.”
The comment comes just two months after German chemicals giant BASF licensed access to the C1 platform in an agreement with Dyadic that covers a variety of industrial markets.
The C1 system can also be used to express therapeutic proteins in quantities sufficient for clinical research, which is an application being assessed by Sanofi Pasteur and EnGen Bio under 2011s agreement.