Biofuel Company Codexis Debuts on Nasdaq

California-based biofuel company Codexis, Inc. (Nasdaq: CDXS) made its initial public offering Thursday, selling 6,000,000 shares at $13.00 each, raising $78 million.

The price was at the low end of the range proposed by the company, which aimed to raise $100 million. Biofuel company’s historically have made less than stellar market debuts, dependent on fluctuations in the price of oil, government policies and general shifts in the public’s outlook on the future. 

Shares were trading around $13.50 during mid-morning trading on Friday.

Codexis has its background in biomedical research and creates enzymes for converting plant cellulose into drugs and ethanol.

The company is in direct competition with Novozymes (NVZMY.PK), one of the biggest greentech success stories. 

Perhaps the biggest thing Codexis has going for it is a list of backers that includes heavyweights Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDSA).

Along with biofuel company Iogen, Codexis is expected to play a role in Shell’s $12 billion ethanol joint venture in Brazil, where the company’s enzymes could be used to break down sugarcane bagasse to expand per-ton production from the renewable resource.

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