The Collaborative International Dictionary
Amyris is a genus of flowering plants in the citrus family, Rutaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word αμυρων (amyron), which means "intensely scented" and refers to the strong odor of the resin. Members of the genus are commonly known as Torchwoods because of their highly flammable wood.
Amyris is an integrated renewable products company providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. Amyris uses its industrial synthetic biology platform to convert plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules, flexible building blocks which can be used in a wide range of products. Amyris is commercializing these products both as renewable ingredients in cosmetics, flavors, fragrances, polymers, lubricants and consumer products, and also as renewable diesel and jet fuels. Amyris Brasil S.A., a subsidiary of Amyris, oversees the establishment and expansion of Amyris’s production in Brazil. Amyris also has fuel distribution capabilities in the United States through its subsidiary, Amyris Fuels LLC. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Emeryville, Ca, Amyris has raised over $120 million in equity funding to-date, including investments from Total S.A., Khosla Ventures, Votorantim Novos Negócios, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech, and DAG Ventures.
The company went public on NASDAQ in October 2010 (AMRS) but as of January 2013, was trading at less than 30% of its initial offering price due to lack of commercial success in cost-effectively producing "drop in" synthetic transportation fuel, which was to be its initial, major focus. The firm has now focused its attention on higher-priced and higher-margin products that are not in the transportation fuel area.