Metabolix grants a patent license to NatureWorks LLC for new biopolymer blends

16-Mar-12
Metabolix, Inc., a bioscience company focused on bringing environmentally sustainable solutions to the plastics, chemicals and energy industries, has announced that it has granted a non-exclusive license to NatureWorks LLC for the U.S. patent No. 5,883,199, titled “Polylactic Acid-based Blends,” to make, use and sell blends of polylactic acid (PLA) with certain other polymers including polybutylene succinic polymers (PBS). The University of Massachusetts Lowell is the owner of the ‘199 patent, and Metabolix, Inc. is the exclusive licensee in the relevant field. NatureWorks and the biochemicals company BioAmber recently announced a joint venture which will support NatureWorks in bringing to market new performance Ingeo polymer compositions. “For areas outside of our technical and commercial focus, we are amenable to licensing arrangements that provide Metabolix the opportunity for a financial participation and pave the way for the introduction of new materials to the marketplace.” “This research greatly expands the uses of PLA in biodegradable plastics because the blends allow for a stronger, more flexible form. The basis of my research is to improve the potential uses for PLA because it is made from renewable natural resources rather than oil, and is environmentally friendly,” said inventor and patent-holder Stephen McCarthy, a professor of plastics engineering at UMass Lowell and director of the university’s Bioplastics Research Center. The exclusive license agreement was negotiated on behalf of the university with Metabolix by UMass Lowell’s Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property. “As a leader in the development of biobased polymer technology, we have assembled a broad intellectual property portfolio covering key elements of making and using advanced biomaterials, including biopolymer blends,” commented Richard P. Eno, President and CEO of Metabolix. “For areas outside of our technical and commercial focus, we are amenable to licensing arrangements that provide Metabolix the opportunity for a financial participation and pave the way for the introduction of new materials to the marketplace.”
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