Amyris ditches biofuels, stock falls almost 30%

Biochemical and biotech company Amyris (s AMRS) told investors this week that it will stop pursuing making biofuels, reports MIT Tech Review. The news is part of a trend over the past couple of years of companies moving away from — or fully giving up on — scaling biofuel businesses to concentrate on specialty chemicals and cosmetics.

Amyris’ stock fell close to 30 percent on the news, to $6.99 per share. The company uses genetic engineering to turn biomass into chemicals and fuels, and its first product turns sugarcane syrup into Biofene, a form of the industrial chemical farnesene, which is a fragrant hydrocarbon that’s used to make cosmetics, lubricants and other materials. This is the company’s stock over the past year: