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Dyadic International: From Doom to Dawn—What’s Next?

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biotechnology management case

Polly S. Rizova, Adelaida Patrasc Lungu, and Mark J. Ahn
Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

Summary and key issue/decision: Dyadic International, Inc. is an early-stage biotechnology company based in Jupiter, Florida dedicated to research, development and manufacturing of products which enable the development of biofuel, biotherapeutics, and industrial enzymes from its patented C-1 fungus technology platform. The company was founded in 1979 by Mark Emalfarb, Dyadic’s chairman of the board and CEO, and became publicly traded in 2004. Simultaneously pursuing an aggressive growth strategy and transitioning to a public entity, Dyadic faced a series of events which resulted in what appeared to be an insurmountable calamity for both the organization and its founder. A combination of financial misconduct of Dyadic’s subsidiary in China, combined with internal legal maneuvering and organizational politics, culminated in the board of directors ousting Emalfarb as CEO in 2007. He sued, won, and was reinstated a year later through a shareholder board election. The case catches up with Emalfarb shortly after he was reinstated, as he faced a series of critical governance decisions for considering Dyadic’s future: How to regain the confidence of the important stakeholders’ groups? How to pull the organization from the brink of the abyss it was staring at and on the path to growth?

Companies/institutions: Dyadic International Inc., Ernst & Young, Puridet

Technology: C-1 fungus technology, a fungal system for gene discovery and expression and the production of proteins

Geography: US, China

Keywords: enzymes, bioenergy, biopharma, biotechnology

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Building the Case for Biotechnology is published by Logos Press