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Why Amyris Fell 11% in September

By Rich Duprey – Oct 7, 2020 at 9:22AM

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It could have been a lot worse.

What happened

Shares of Amyris (AMRS 0.58%) fell 11% in September, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after it was accused in a lawsuit of patent infringement and misappropriating trade secrets.

So what

Specialty ingredients biotech Amyris, which develops sustainable ingredients for the clean health and beauty markets, as well as for flavors and fragrances, started the month on a positive note after announcing it had successfully scaled up commercial production of cannabigerol (CBG), a molecule developed from Cannabis sativa L., or hemp.

Scientist testing marijuana plant

Image source: Getty Images.

Amyris was hopeful its new fermentation process could see CBG gain support over cannabidiol (CBD) in certain applications that would help grow its portfolio of products.

However, mid-month it was hit by the patent infringement lawsuit by privately held cannabinoid company LAVVAN, which alleged Amyris was illegally using its intellectual property "in connection with their development, testing and production of biosynthetic cannabinoids, including CBG." 

Shares of Amyris plunged 26% in one day, and had at one point been lower by 30%.

Now what

Amyris began recovering fairly quickly, and has regained about 30% since. It announced its Pipette mother and baby care brand had been selected by Alibaba's Tmall platform to get fast-tracked into the China market with a launch to coincide on the e-commerce giant's Nov. 11 Singles Day sales event, a sales extravaganza similar to's Prime Day, but orders of magnitude larger.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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