On this week’s innovation show we talk to Mark Emalfarb the founder and CEO of Dyadic International, Inc. a public company that trades on the OTCQX Markets under the stock symbol “DYAI”. This is a phenomenal story and a truly remarkable 4 decade entrepreneurial journey. Mark was told he had rocks in his head when he helped pioneer the concept of using rocks (pumice stones) in a washing machine, the process of stonewashed jeans.
When Mark looked to innovate and move to enzyme-based stonewashing, he hired a team of Russian bioengineers and biotechnology experts to develop an enzyme that could soften and fade denim using a biotechnology process that was more environmentally friendly, thus making denim more comfortable and fashionable.
Through this work he discovered a Russian fungus that he nicknamed C1 which Dyadic scientists hyper accelerated C1’s ability to make large amounts of low cost enzymes Dyadic sold to the blue jeans manufactures like Levi, Guess, Wrangler and others for use in the stonewash process. In December of 2015 Dyadic’s industrial biotech company was acquired by DuPont for $75 million and this has allowed Dyadic to focus on what Mark describes in his interview as the final frontier.
Ever the pioneer, Mark and Dyadic are now focussed on pursuing research and development collaborations, licensing arrangements and other commercial opportunities with its partners and collaborators to leverage the value and benefits of the C1 technology to help in developing and manufacturing biopharmaceuticals. In particular, as the aging population grows in developed and undeveloped countries, Dyadic believes the C1 technology may help bring biologic drugs to market faster, in greater volumes, at lower cost, and with new properties to drug developers and manufacturers and, hopefully, improve access and cost to patients and the healthcare system, but most importantly save lives.