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Codexis, Inc.
Industry biocatalysis, pharmaceuticals, industrial biotechnology, fine chemicals, biobased chemicals
Founded 2002
Headquarters Redwood City, CA, U.S.,
Key people
John J. Nicols Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President

Douglas T.Sheehy Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Jim Lalonde Vice President Research and Development

Greg Hughes Vice President Alliance and New Product Development
Revenue Increase US$33-35 million (FY 2013)
Number of employees
88 (as of April 2014)[1]
Website Codexis, Inc.

Codexis, Inc. engineers enzymes for pharmaceutical and chemical production. Codexis’ technologies enable scale-up and implementation of biocatalytic solutions to optimize process development, from research to manufacturing. There are currently over 50 pharmaceutical firms using Codexis’ technology, products and services in their manufacturing process development.

Codexis creates its products by applying its CodeEvolver® directed evolution technology platform, which introduces genetic mutations into microorganisms.

Pharmaceutical Enzymes, Intermediates and Services[edit]

Codexis markets and sells enzymes, development services and screening tools, providing manufacturing processes for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and their precursor pharmaceutical intermediates.

Codexis customers include major companies such as Merck, Pfizer, and Teva that use Codexis' custom biocatalysts to create more sustainable, less costly manufacturing processes for new and existing drugs. Codexis' biocatalysts are being used in the manufacturing process for the cholesterol-fighting drug Lipitor and are in development for the manufacturing of the diabetes drug Januvia. Codexis won the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006 for its work on a building block of Lipitor [2] and a second time with Merck in 2010 for its work on the active ingredient in Januvia.[3]

Codex® Biocatalyst Panels and Kits[edit]

Codexis sells Codex® Biocatalyst Panels and Kits to companies who are engaged in both drug development and the marketing of approved drugs to allow them to screen and identify possible enzymatic manufacturing processes for their drug candidates and their marketed products. Codex® Biocatalyst Panels determine whether an enzyme produces a desired activity that is applicable to a particular process. [4]

For compounds that are in development, Codex® Biocatalyst Panels and Kits allow innovators to screen and identify possible enzymatic manufacturing processes rapidly and inexpensively for many of their drug candidates in-house, without the risks of disclosing the composition of their proprietary molecules before they have received patent protection. They also generate data that Codexis can use to optimize enzymes rapidly for a particular reaction, if necessary, reducing the time required to generate a manufacturing process capable of supporting clinical trials with inexpensively produced, pure drugs.

Enzyme screening services[edit]

Customers can send Codexis their materials to test against Codexis’ existing libraries of enzymes. If Codexis detects desired activity in a specific enzyme, it can supply the customer with this enzyme or perform optimization services to improve the performance of the enzyme. [5]


Codexis supplies varying quantities of its enzymes to pharmaceutical companies, from small to moderate quantities while they are optimizing their production processes, to larger quantities during later-stage clinical development and commercial scale drug production.[6] Codexis also provides enzyme optimization services. [7]

Intermediates and APIs[edit]

Codexis supply intermediates and APIs made using enzymes.


Codexis engineers custom enzymes and microorganisms, which are sometimes referred to as biocatalysts. In simple terms, Codexis’ enzymes and microorganisms initiate or accelerate chemical reactions. Codexis' proprietary technology called CodeEvolver is directed evolution technology. It is based on the concept that natural genetic mutation and selection can be accelerated in the research laboratory to obtain specific improvements in the function of single proteins and multiprotein pathways. CodeEvolver combines DNA shuffling and bioinformatics with systems biology to create new biocatalysts.

Willem P.C. Stemmer, the inventor of DNA shuffling technology upon which Codexis was founded, and Frances H. Arnold, received the National Academy of Engineering's Charles Stark Draper Prize for their individual work on directed evolution technology.[8]


Codexis is using its work in biofuels to develop sustainable sources for the 2 million ton detergent alcohol market.[9] Detergent alcohols go into household products such as shampoo and conditioner. Approximately 70% of detergent alcohols are derived from palm kernel oil. The remaining 30% is derived from petroleum. The rising price and price volatility of palm oil and crude oil combined with environmental concerns have prompted consumer product companies to seek out sustainable alternatives.[10]


Codexis’ corporate headquarters is located in Redwood City, California and provides general administrative support to its business and is the center of Codexis’ manufacturing and research and development operations.


Based in Redwood City, CA, Codexis was incorporated in 2002. The company went public in April 2010 on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol (NASDAQCDXS).

External links[edit]