San Diego Business Journal

Allylix Raises $18.2M, Announces Launch of New Product for Fragrance Market

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

San Diego-based biotechnology company Allylix Inc., which makes specialty chemicals for the flavor and fragrance industries, said March 12 that it raised $18.2 million in a Series D financing round led by Germany’s BASF Venture Capital GmbH.

Our investment in Allylix could allow us to broaden our use of renewable raw materials for sustainable chemical solutions in the future,” said Daniela Proske, principal at BASF Venture Capital America, the venture arm of chemical giant BASF.

Proske said that the deal could leverage BASF’s competency in aroma chemicals, nutrition and cosmetic chemicals.

BASF, which contributed $13.5 million, was joined by existing investors Tate & Lyle Ventures, Avrio Ventures and Cultivian Ventures.

Allylix has a proprietary technology platform to produce a wide variety of renewable specialty chemicals, including citrusy-smelling terpenes — compounds that have previously only been available from natural resources in limited quantities, which limited their commercial use.

President and CEO Carolyn Fritz said this round of funding “will support the development and delivery of new compounds in Allylix’s pipeline, and will allow us to expand the market for our existing products.”

The company also announced March 12 that it will launch a new product, a rare terpene called Epivone known for its rich, woody aroma. Revenue for similar terpene molecules used in fragrance applications is estimated between $20 and $200 million dollars per year, the company said.

“Epivone is a highly valuable compound,” Fritz said, “and because we own the patents claiming the fragrance and its novel production method, we expect to be the only commercial supplier.”

— Kelly Quigley