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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 (CEO and President)
  • Jim Lalonde (Vice President Research and Development)
  • Gordon Sangster (CFO)
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 engineers custom enzymes and microorganisms, which are sometimes referred to as biocatalysts. Codexis' proprietary technology called CodeEvolver is directed evolution technology 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.


Codexis is using its work in biofuels to develop sustainable sources for the 2 million ton detergent alcohol market.[2] 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.[3]


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.[4] Codexis also provides enzyme optimization services. [5]

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. [6]


Codexis is based in Redwood City, CA and was incorporated in 2002. The company went public in April 2010 on NASDAQ.

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 [7] and a second time with Merck in 2010 for its work on the active ingredient in Januvia.[8]


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