Amyris Scales First Fermentation-Based CBG

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (adapted from PR Newswire)-Amyris, a synthetic biotechnology company specializing in cosmetics, flavors, and fragrances, has successfully scaled up production of Cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Often referred to as “the stemcell of cannabinoids,” CBG is the precursor from which all other cannabinoids are synthesized and is purported to have significant therapeutic potential. Amyris expects to produce about one ton of high-purity GBG using industrial fermentation as an alternative to traditional Cannabis sativa L. extraction methods. 

Early testing on skin models has shown CBG to outperform CBD in several topical indications. Moreover, the company claims that combining CBG with Amyris’s sugarcane-based squalene has demonstrated maximum topical efficacy results. Preliminary studies indicate that CBG could potentially surpass CBD in about one third of current CBD topical applications.

According to Eduardo Alvarez, Amyris’s Chief Operating Officer, the molecule was developed from initial target to full-scale production in less than nine months. “We are very excited about the disruptive nature of this molecule for potential skincare applications, through flavor and fragrance partnerships and our cosmetic distribution channels,” commented John Melo, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is the tenth product we’ve delivered at scale through our fermentation platform, which reaffirms the continued expansion of our portfolio, as well as our growth ambition to provide sustainably and economically produced natural ingredients.” 


Amyris claims their fermentation process is well-positioned to result in the lowest cost CBG with higher purity (no THC), which they expect to unlock the adoption of CBG. “Because our fermentation process yields a high purity CBG product that contains no THC, we avoid the uncertainties surrounding plant-sourced materials that other producers face,” explains Melo. “We have also confirmed that the product is not regulated as a controlled substance.” First commercial revenues from the sale of this molecule are anticipated this year.

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