CHANDLER, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that it has selected Yulex Corporation, a biomaterial product development company, to receive a 2013 AZBio Fast Lane Award in recognition of groundbreaking work on the development and manufacture of a U.S., non-allergenic source of rubber from a natural desert resource. Yulex will be honored by bioindustry leaders at the Phoenix Convention Center during the 2013 AZBio Awards on October 10, 2013.
The AZBio Fast Lane Award recognizes the select few companies that have achieved outstanding milestones in the past 18 months. Significant progress can be measured by clinical results, regulatory approvals, certifications, collaborations, funding awards, product launches, job growth or product sales milestones.
Rubber and commerce go hand in hand and rubber products are everywhere. Yulex is the global leader in guayule-based biomaterials for a wide range of markets and diverse applications. The company’s proprietary technologies include guayule crop science, bioprocesssing and materials science for the production of guayule biorubbers to replace imported tropical and synthetic (petroleum-based) rubbers. Yulex’s Guayule BioRubber Emulsions and BioRubber Solids have medical, consumer and industrial applications to grow an increasingly diverse market community with ultra-pure, high-performance products.
In the past 18 months, Yulex has experienced significant milestones. The company launched a commercial, built-to-scale Guayule BioRubber demonstration facility in Arizona. Additionally, Yulex, along with consortium partners Cooper Tire, Arizona State University, Cornell University and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, were awarded a $6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative grant from the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy to develop enhanced manufacturing processes for the production of Guayule BioRubber as a biomaterial for tire applications, as well as to evaluate the plant’s residual biomass for biofuel applications.
In early 2013, Yulex and Patagonia launched the first guayule-based wetsuit -- the first plant-based wetsuit alternative to the traditional neoprene (petroleum-based) wetsuit. Made from Yulex’s Guayule BioRubber, the wetsuit has 30 percent more stretch, dries faster and keeps surfers warmer.
More recently, the company expanded its growing global agricultural footprint by partnering with ENI’s Versalis to manufacture Guayule BioRubber and to launch a production complex in Southern Europe.
Yulex also recently provided the University of Arizona with a $3 million, five-year grant focused on global guayule breeding and crop development. The company envisions a future of sustainable biorefineries that utilize 100% of the guayule plant.
“The UA has a long and storied history of working on the development of guayule as a new industrial crop for Arizona,” said Dr. Dennis Ray, Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. “That there is now a guayule industry is due in part to the work of a number of UA researchers over the past 20 years, and that I have been part of this work is very exciting and fulfilling. Commercial production of guayule was always our goal, and we look forward to a continued and productive collaboration with Yulex Corporation, the world leader in developing different biomaterials from guayule. The goal of our work will be to increase the rubber content in Yulex’s guayule lines and to decrease the time to harvest to help in the sustainable cultivation of guayule in Arizona.”
The 8th Annual AZBio Awards will be held Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Phoenix Convention Center. In addition to the Gala Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m., the VWR Company Showcase and Student Discovery Showcase sponsored by NAU will highlight the work of Arizona’s current and future life science leaders from 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. so that attendees can see the work being done across the industry and interact with the leaders and future leaders who are driving bioindustry innovation.
In addition honoring Yulex Corporation, the AZBio Awards will celebrate the achievements of:
- 2013 AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement - Thomas M. Grogan, M.D., Founder of Ventana and SVP Medical Affairs at Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group
- 2013 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year – Amanda Grimes, Mesa Biotechnology Academy, Mesa Public Schools
- 2013 AZBio Public Service Award - John W. Lewis, mayor of the Town of Gilbert, Ariz.
- 2013 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year – Leslie Boyer, M.D., The University of Arizona
- 2013 Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year – Linda Hunt, Dignity Health, Arizona Market
- 2013 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year – W.L. Gore & Associates
- 2013 AZBio Fast Lane Awards – Iron Horse Dx, Nasseo, Inc., and Yulex Corporation
About the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) – www.azbio.org
As Arizona’s statewide industry Association, AZBio is committed to working with our members across Arizona to support our industry as together we move forward faster. AZBio provides access to the key resources, connections and information in our biosciences community. This provides the foundation to be able to Connect, Collaborate, Innovate and Succeed; thus supporting the growth of a thriving economic environment for Arizona’s Bioscience Industry today and in the future.
AZBio is the State Affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) located in Washington, D.C., and also collaborates on national issues with AdvaMed, PhRMA and other national and international organizations to move the Arizona Bioscience Industry forward faster.