Swiftly and Solvently: Amyris rolls out hand sanitizer and 2020 Q1 financials

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Ca-ssis)
© Getty Images \ (Ca-ssis)

Related tags coronavirus financial results Hand sanitizer Amyris biotech

This month, the biotech company behind the popular clean skin care brand Biossance and the baby line Pipette shared news of company efforts to produce hand sanitzer as well as about how the numbers have been shaping up over the past quarter.

In late March, Amyris determined to make hand sanitizer for both donation and sale, creating a “task force” ​to lead the effort on the 21st, which happens to have been a Saturday. The project was allocated to the Pipette brand. And the team proceeded to source the ingredients and packaging components, and coordinate with an OTC-certified contract manufacturer.

According to a media release shared with Cosmetics Design this week, “On April 8th, 100,000 units were shipped to the distribution center and on the morning of Thursday, April 9th, Amyris’ hand sanitizer was available for purchase on Pipettebaby.com in an 8oz bottle at just $4.99.”

The company has, reportedly, donated some 40,000 bottles (32oz) of sanitizers to hospitals in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, California as well as in New York, New York. Also, that initial run of Pipette-branded hand sanitizer apparently sold through in just 6 hours. Amyris replenished its inventory shortly thereafter, and as of Tuesday evening, the hand sanitizer was still available on the brand’s ecommerce site to be shipped “in up to 14 business days.”

Amyris’ Q1 results are quite promising, despite the pandemic

John Melo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amyris, opened his remarks to the company’s first financial results of 2020 by saying, “COVID-19 has dominated all of our lives with a significant impact both from a health and economic perspective.”

All the same, just last month Amyris “delivered our best single month of consumer product sales,” ​according to Melo. Indeed, the Q1 numbers show that the company’s sales revenue was over all up over 100% for the quarter, with a 92% lift in consumer product and ingredient sales combined.

The Biossance brand brought in the bulk of consumer sales for the quarter; and while the company’s results report doesn’t break ingredient sales down by industry or function, Melo does point out in his remarks that Amyris “[supplies] key ingredients for household cleaning and personal care products and [is] exploring how our science can be further utilized to fight the virus.”

Despite the global financial challenges that the virus crisis presents, the biotech company (founded back in 2003) expects “to achieve positive operating cash performance by the fourth quarter of this year,” ​as Melo states. Yet, as he adds, there is always room for adjustment: “We remain committed to our current guidance and will update our view on the year as we get more visibility.”



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. To hear about more good beauty industry news during the pandemic WATCH this video.

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