Synthetic Genomics Inks $300M Deal With ExxonMobil

La Jolla-based Synthetic Genomics, a firm founded by DNA sequencing inventor J. Craig Venter and funded by Draper Fisher Juvetson, Meteor Group, Biotechonomy LLC and Plenus, S.A., BP plc, and ACGT Sdn Bd, said this week that it has inked a deal with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, to develop next generation biofuels using photosynthetic algae developed by the company. Synthetic Genomics said the deal is potentially worth more than $300 million, including milestone payments for certain achievements in developing biofuel products. Synthetic Genomics is looking to use genetics technology to modify microalgae and cyanobacteria to more efficiently convert carbon dioxide into cellular oils and long-chain hydrocarbons--which can further be processed into biofuels and chemicals.