Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of Carbios, said: “Carbios confirms its global technological leadership in the biotreatment of plastics end-of-life. We now have extremely efficient enzyme s which can be industrialized for our PET plastics and fibers biorecycl ing process. Along these developments and the Pilot stage launch of PET hydrolysis in a reactor of 1,000 liters, we have engaged, with TechnipFMC, the scaling-up of this technology to fulfil, as soon as 2021, the expectations of the largest global brands operating in the fields of beverage, packaging, textile, etc. This should soon enable to strengthen the Consortium we have created with L’ORÉAL. Carbiolice’s developments also confirm the prospect of a market launch of our enzyma tic biodegradation technology for single-use plastics by 2020.”
2018 first half and post-closing highlights
The first half of 2018 confirmed the good momentum that Carbios has taken since the successful completion of the final key stage of the Thanaplast program, through significant achievements in the development of its PET plastic s and fibers biorecycling process and the structuration of the industrial production unit of its subsidiary Carbiolice.
Research & Development
- In January 2018, Carbios announced that it had received a payment of €1,021,871 from Bpifrance following the successful completion of the fifth and final key stage of the Thanaplast project . During this final key stage ended in June 2017, Carbios published several announcements on successful developments of its technologies. In the field of biorecycling, Carbios demonstrated its ability, to synthetize PET oligomers and to produce virgin PET from post – consumer PET plastic bottles treated by enzymatic hydrolysis. Beyond these results comforting the technological value of the innovations developed with the Thanaplast project partners, Carbios pursued the industrialization of its biodegradation process through the joint – venture Carniolice, created with Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients and the SPI funds run by Bpifrance.
- In March 2018, Carbios announce d that it took a new step forward in the development of its enzymatic depolymerization process rending it applicable to PET polyester fibers from textile waste. Carbios opened a new major market by depolymerizing 100% PET textile waste fibers into their original monomers. Each year, 43 million tons of PET are produced for the fiber market, compared to 15 million tons dedicated to the production of plastic bottles.
- In April 2018, Carbios announced a major milestone in the optimization of its biorecycling process of post – consumer PET plastic bottles, making it possible to strengthen its economic competitiveness and accelerate its scaling up towards the industrial demonstration stage. Work has been undertaken to optimize the enzyme used in Carbios’ biorecycling process, with the support of the teams from Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB), and in particular the Engineering Laboratory of Biological Systems and Processes (LISBP). A molecular modelling study has been carried out to analyze the relations between the 3D structure of the enzyme and its efficiency. This has made it possible to set targets enabling to improve performance and achieve a conversion speed that only Carbios can claim today. Thus, the time of hydrolysis has been divided by three, 97% conversion being obtained after 24 hours of reaction.
- Post-closing, Carbios announced in July 2018, new results in the optimization of its biorecycling process of post-consumer PET plastics, by further reducing of a third the duration of PET enzymatic hydrolysis, reaching therefore a conversion speed of 97% in only 16 hours. These results come along with the PET hydrolysis scale – up at Pilot stage, which is now carried out in a reactor of 1,000 liters, in collaboration with CRITT Bio-Industries.
Post-closing, Carbios announced in July 2018, the acceleration of the development of its subsidiary Carbiolice and in accordance with initial commitments, a new funding of €3.35 million in the form of a capital increase by the project partners, of which €2 million is brought by the SPI funds run by Bpifrance, €1.1 million by Carbios and €250 000 by Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients. This second financing round has been acted by the signature of a new partner’s agreement date June 28, 2018. It is associated with the structuration of the industrial product ion unit and the reinforcement of commercial and technical means in anticipation of the market launch in 2020 of a new range of products using the enzymatic biodegradation technologies developed by Carbios. In addition, to position itself on growing markets, Carbios extended the scope of the license granted to Carbiolice to rigid packaging.
This agreement, which has been the subject of an amendment to the patent and initial know-how license agreement, includes the payment to Carbios of an additional lump sum conditioned on the achievement by Carbiolice of a defined turnover. Carbiolice, subsidiary of Carbios at 56,23%, today manufactures corn-based compounds and biopolymers for plastic manufacturers involved in different markets such as bags, mulching films and technical films.
In 2020, it will expand its market reach to disposable table ware and biodegradable packaging and will commercially use its license on the enzymatic biodegradation technologies developed by Carbios to manufacture masterbatches. These will be used for the production of 100% compostable and 100% biodegradable single-use plastics, whose content in biobased materials will meet the new objectives set by the Energy Transition Law for Green Growth.
Post-closing, Mr. Eric Arnoult (known as Erik Orsenna) resigned from his position of Board member with effect on September 20, 2018, the company quotes. During its meeting dated September 20, 2018, the Board of Directors co-opted, in replacement of Mr. Arnoult, the company Truffle Capital, represented by Dr. Philippe Pouletty for the term of office of his predecessor, until 2 021, at the end of the Assembly called to approve the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 As of June 30th, 2018, year-to-date operating income stood at € 425,000 versus € 632,000 for the first half of 2017.
According to Carbios most of this income comes from research service revenues with its subsidiary Carbiolice. During the first half of 2018, Carbios’ operating expenses stood at €2.733 million. The R&D expenses during the period were mostly used for the pre-industrial stage of the Company’s PET plastics biorecycling process. External R&D expenses stood at € 881,000 (compared to €337,000 in 2017 and €1.235 million in 2016), mainly due to the externalization of services enabling the Company to benefit from the expertise and know-how of its academic and industrial partners.
As a result, the net loss for the first half of 2018 settles at €1.674 million versus €1.353 million for the first half of 2017, after taking into account the research tax credit of € 635,000. Cash burn was €0.9 million during the first half of 2018 Carbios shows a solid cash position of € 6.7 million as of June 30th, 2018, compared to € 7.5 million at year-end 2017. The net cash available during the six-month period decreased by €0.9 million compared to an increase of € 0.7 million during the first half of 2017. Considering the cash position as of June 30th, 2018, Carbios should be able to cover its financing needs until the second half of 2019, the company says.