17 Nov 2020

BBGI Steps into High-Value Biobased Product Sector by Becoming Lead Investor of World-Class Biotech Firm Manus Bio Inc.

The two firms now form a joint venture, WIN Ingredients, with a plan to set up Southeast Asia’s first multiproduct Syn Bio plant

BBGI and Manus Bio Inc. (Manus Bio), one of the world’s leading high-value biobased product manufacturers, have announced the establishment of their joint venture for the plan to produce and distribute high-value biobased products in Asia and especially Southeast Asia. Making Bt800million investment, BBGI is the Lead Investor of Manus Bio through Series B financing. Under the plan, the joint venture will construct Southeast Asia’s first multiproduct Synthetic Biology plant.

Mr. Chaiwat Kovavisarach, chief executive officer and president of Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited (Bangchak), says, “Bangchak has accorded importance to greenovation to uphold both society and sustainability. I am thus very pleased that BBGI has invested in Manus Bio, a world-class biotech firm. This is a milestone not just for Bangchak but also Thailand in stepping into high-value biobased product industry and becoming a leading greennovator for sustainable future. Biologically rich, Thailand has what it takes to support Bio Economy. This important investment has diversified Bangchak’s portfolio, maintained its healthy balance, and answered well to the needs of new-generation consumers who are keen to use products made of natural ingredients”.

Mr. Kittiphong Limsuwannarot, chief executive officer of BBGI Public Company Limited, reveals that his firm signed the joint venture agreement with Manus Bio on 16 October 2020. As one of Thailand’s major manufacturers/distributors of biobased products, BBGI is expanding its business from biodiesel/ethanol production to high-value biobased product business by integrating modern and safe Synthetic Biology technologies. The move has added value to products that are useful to humans and friendly to the environment.

BBGI, the flagship business in biobased-product industry of Bangchak that is Thailand’s BCG Economy Model leader, has spent more than Bt800 million on Series B Preferred Stock of Manus Bio. Located in the United States, Manus Bio is famous across the world as a leading manufacturer of high-value biobased products. Its production has deployed advanced bio-fermentation. BBGI, which has emerged as a Lead Investor in Manus Bio through Series B round, is now also the firm’s key partner in Asia. Together, BBGI and Manus Bio have now jointly established “WIN Ingredients” to conduct the joint venture’s businesses in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. BBGI is already a major shareholder of WIN Ingredients.

“Investing in Manus Bio during the Series B round and establishing WIN Ingredients are key steps BBGI has taken to upgrade its biobased business through a focus on advanced innovations. Manus Bio has had world-class business partners across the globe in the biobased product industry. It has partners for various products such as sweeteners and flavoring agents made of natural ingredients, as well as biobased materials for cosmetics, medicines, and biopharmaceuticals, etc. The partnership promises to solidly pave way for BBGI to step into these many sectors in Thailand, other parts of Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. Not only that the joint venture will engage in the distribution of biobased products but it will also set up Southeast Asia’s first multiproduct Syn Bio plant. This move also builds up on Thailand’s strengths namely impressive biodiversity and great geographical location. We have accorded importance to integrating bio-innovations into the production of high-value products and also to taking into account the world’s limited resources for the sake of its sustainability. WIN Ingredients will boost our manufacturing capacity and help us reach out to bigger market,” Mr. Kittiphong continues.

Dr. Ajikumar Parayil, chief executive officer of Manus Bio, says, “Manus Bio is pleased to have partnered with BBGI as we have shared the same vision of leveraging advanced bio-tech for a more sustainable future. Our joint venture with BBGI will expand Manus Bio’s presence in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. We are going to enjoy solid foundation, as we deliver superior value and business security through our worldwide supply-chain network”. /p>

Dr. Parayil, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), co-founded Manus Bio in 2011 with aim to develop a platform for the sustainable production of biobased products at the cost acceptable to business doing. The other co-founder, Professor Greg Stephanopoulos, also hails from MIT. Specializing in chemical engineering and bio technology, he is now dubbed the Father of Metabolic Engineering. This relatively new field leverages advanced genetic engineering technology in industrial-grade biotech development, which covers advanced bio-fermentation for the production of high-value biobased products. Presently, Professor Stephanopoulos chairs Manus Bio’s Scientific Advisory Board and doubles as the firm’s director.