Circa Group Pty Ltd
Bio21 Molecular Science
& Biotechnology Institute
30 Flemington Road, Parkville
VIC 3010 Australia
Twitter @circagroup

Tony Duncan
Chief Executive Officer

Warwick Raverty
Chief Scientist

c/o Bio 21, Flemington Road

+61 419 303 117

Circa Group is converting waste biomass into advanced biochemical materials.



Circa grants Will & Co exclusive Benelux distribution rights for Cyrene®

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Will & Co agreement[1] copy copy.jpg

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA and YORK, UK – 8 November 2017. Circa Group Pty Ltd. and Will & Co B.V. have entered into an exclusive distribution agreement in Benelux for commercial quantities of Circa’s bio-based solvent and platform molecule Cyrene®.

“Our 50 tonnes per year prototype plant for producing Cyrene® is just coming online in Tasmania, and this distribution agreement with Will & Co is a major step forward to bringing our new product to Europe”, explains Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa. “We are excited to be entering this new partnership and are especially impressed with Will & Co’s track record of introducing new products to commercial markets and providing technical product advice to help clients adopt these new chemicals. “

The Benelux region, Will & Co’s home turf, comprising Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, has a long history in the chemicals industry, going back as far as the 1500s[1]. Today, the regional chemical industry is worth more than €184 billion[2], and is home to both the largest integrated chemical cluster and refinery site in Europe.

In response to tightening regulations on the use of chemicals e.g. through REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) in Europe and similar regulatory forms across most major economies, high-performance bio-based chemicals, like Cyrene® are becoming increasingly sought-after by industry.  For instance, the Dutch paint and coatings industry, which accounts for more than 20% of the world’s coating production[3], is aiming for 50% bio-based materials by 2030[4].

Jacques van Lindonk, Managing Director of Will & Co comments, “We are very happy to add Circa’s bio-based Cyrene to our portfolio and we are sure that, their product combined with our know-how and support for production and product development, will make this a very successful collaboration in European markets.”

Cyrene® is made from waste sources of cellulose such as sawdust, with promising data showing it can outperform existing solvents.  As well as being highly functional, Cyrene® is a safer alternative to petrochemical based solvents such as DMF and NMP which are under severe regulatory pressure in both the European Union and North America.  These solvents are currently used in a wide variety of applications including polymers, membranes, lithium ion battery production, printing ink and coating formulations, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and electronic chemicals. This latest distribution deal, complements existing agreements with Merck Sigma for research and development quantities world-wide.

1 The Chemical Industry in the Benelux Countries (1958)

2 Chemical sector information: Belgium – Essencia 2014, Netherlands – Delta Lloyd 2013, Luxembourg – Statistica 2015




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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – 13 September 2017 – Biotechnology companies Circa Group Pty. Ltd. and Sanoosa Pty. Ltd. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue developing molecules showing early-stage promise in inhibiting protein-protein interactions, which play a key role in disease development.
Targeting such protein complexes directly allows for a more specific response and attacks early disease promoting events. 
Circa and Sanoosa have been developing specific molecules for protein-protein interaction inhibition for three years. The MoU commits the companies to collaborate for a further year, allowing them to build on existing research.
Dr. Warwick Raverty, Chief Scientist at Circa Group, said, “This MoU has been agreed due to recent promising signs of the molecule’s performance against this specific target protein, using Sanoosa’s advanced modelling processes and in lab trials.”
Dr. Herbert Treutlein and Dr. Wolfgang Kissel, Co-Founders and Directors at Sanoosa, said, “By signing this MoU, we will continue Sanoosa’s strategy of working on difficult-to-drug targets, using both our accelerated computational molecule discovery and design capabilities.”


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YORK, UK – 11 July 2017 – Circa Sustainable Chemicals UK – a subsidiary of Australian biotechnology company Circa Group – has won an Innovate UK grant, which will be used to develop new applications for bio-based solvents. Circa will focus on two biosolvent application areas: polymer dispersions and coatings removal for paint or graffiti.
Aiming to encourage disruptive ideas, grant candidates had to demonstrate new, highly innovative processes, products or services, as well as show significant return on investment. Thanks to the grant, Circa will be identifying current coatings removal and polymer dispersion applications which rely upon a polar aprotic solvent.
After initial studies, a theoretical framework will be developed to predict future solvent performance and identify commercially relevant polymer systems where biosolvent Cyrene® can be applied. Produced by Circa, Cyrene® is a bio-based alternative to polar aprotic solvents which are under regulatory pressure worldwide due to their toxicity. Cyrene® has a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities.

Circa will work with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York, who also helped develop Cyrene®. The work should be completed by June 2018.
By providing funding for small companies, Innovate UK wants to help overcome innovation barriers and speed up delivery of new products. As winners, Circa demonstrated that its work will lead to successful commercialisation and show significant and sustainable growth.
Jeff Eaves, General Manager at Circa Sustainable Chemicals UK, said, “We are thrilled to win this Innovate UK grant, which will increase application opportunities for biosolvents. We were particularly glad that bio-based solutions won an open call competition, confirming the bioeconomy’s potential and helping to boost biomaterials’ share in markets dominated by petro-based products.”