Codexis announces next generation CodeXyme® cellulase enzymes with leading performance

Compared to prior generations, CodeXyme® 4 and CodeXyme® 4X significantly reduce the cost of cellulosic sugar production for biofuels and bio-based chemicals

Codexis, Inc., a developer of engineered enzymes for pharmaceutical, biofuel and chemical production, announced today the launch of CodeXyme® 4 and CodeXyme® 4X cellulase enzyme packages for use in producing cellulosic sugar for production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

Codexis’ latest generation of advanced cellulase enzymes, CodeXyme® 4 for dilute acid pretreatments and CodeXyme® 4X for hydrothermal pretreatments, exhibits excellent performance, converting up to 85% of available fermentable sugars at high biomass and low enzyme loads. Combined with high strain productivity using the CodeXporter® enzyme production system, this allows for a cost-in-use that the company believes will be among the lowest available once in full-scale commercial production.

CodeXyme® 4 increases performance 10-20% over Codexis’ last generation product, CodeXyme® 3, measured by the amount of glucan converted into C6 fermentable sugar. For pre-treatments with unconverted xylan, CodeXyme® 4X maintains the same high C6 sugar activity while having additional C5 sugar conversion.

“After four years of development using our CodeEvolver® directed evolution technology platform, we are proud to announce that our high-performing CodeXyme® cellulases are broadly available for the first time,” said John Nicols, Chief Executive Officer of Codexis. “CodeXyme® has been tested against other commercially-available cellulases and we have found the performance to be equal or better than alternative enzymes, across various feedstocks and pre-treatment types. We expect CodeXyme® cellulase to deliver significant cost savings and yield improvements for industrial-scale production of cellulosic sugars.”

Leading Enzyme Performance
During the past several months, CodeXyme® cellulase has been tested on a variety of feedstocks and pre-treatments, including corn stover, corn cobs, sugarcane bagasse, cane straw, wheat straw and rice straw. In all cases, CodeXyme® 4 and 4X have been found to convert 75 – 85% of glucan and xylan into C6 and C5 sugars, at 10 – 15g enzyme per kg of glucan. With consistently high sugar conversion, customers are able to convert more sugar into high-value biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

In independent third-party tests with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado and Chemical Engineering Research Consultants in Toronto, Canada, CodeXyme® cellulase performed comparably or better than other leading enzymes. The studies compared the conversion of glucan to C6 sugars on dilute-acid pre-treated corn stover, using leading commercial enzyme products at their optimal pH and temperature. CodeXyme® 3 (Codexis’ cellulase enzyme from 2011) was found to convert the same or more glucan at the same enzyme load as competing cellulase packages, and CodeXyme® 4 fared even better against the latest alternative commercial enzymes.

Commercial and Manufacturing Plan
In September 2012, Codexis established a robust applications capability and has since sold CodeXyme® 4 and 4X to over a dozen potential partners and customers at lab and pilot scale. CodeXyme® cellulase has been used successfully to hydrolyze biomass pre-treated with both acid-based and hydrothermal methods, as well as in sequential and simultaneous hydrolysis and fermentation.

Codexis is scheduled to scale up its novel CodeXyme® 4X cellulase strain at commercial scale in the second quarter of this year. CodeXyme® 4X cellulase will also be used in pilot production of bio-based CodeXolTM detergent alcohols in collaboration with Chemtex in Rivalta, Italy by mid-year.

Upcoming Press Conference at the World Biofuels Conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Dave Anton, Codexis’ Senior Vice President, Bioindustrials, will discuss CodeXyme® cellulase today, March 12, 2013 at the World Biofuels Conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The briefing will be held at 1pm (CET) in the Blue Room of the Beurs-World Trade Center.

About Codexis, Inc.
Codexis, Inc. engineers enzymes for pharmaceutical, biofuel and chemical production. Codexis’ proven technology enables scale-up and implementation of biocatalytic solutions to meet customer needs for rapid, cost-effective and sustainable process development – from research to manufacturing.

CodeXyme®, CodeEvolver®, CodeXporter® and CodeXol™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Codexis.


Codexis, Inc., press release, 2013-03-12.


Chemical Engineering Research Consultants
Codexis, Inc.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)


Renewable Carbon News – Daily Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily email newsletter – the world's leading newsletter on renewable materials and chemicals