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Business Roundup

February 27, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 9

Codexis’ CEO, Alan Shaw, has resigned from the company to pursue other interests. Peter Strumph, head of the industrial biotechnology firm’s pharmaceuticals business, is filling the role on an interim basis while Codexis searches for a new CEO.

BASF has opened an industrial biotechnology and microbiology research center in Tarrytown, N.Y. Scientists at the lab will develop improved biotech production processes and antimicrobials that are active against biofilms.

JSR has opened an R&D center for liquid-crystal-display raw materials in central Taiwan. Built at a cost of $15 million, the facility will provide a full range of materials development support capabilities to Taiwan’s display manufacturers, JSR says.

Momentive Specialty Chemicals plans to close its phenolic resins plant in Pardubice, Czech Republic. About 20 employees will be laid off when the site closes on June 30. Momentive plans to transfer products made in Pardubice to other locations.

Sigma-Aldrich has licensed Kyoto University’s induced pluripotent stem cell patent portfolio. The company will offer iPS-based cells, assays, and ADME/toxicology testing services for drug discovery and preclinical research.

Morria Biopharmaceuticals has signed on Scynexis as chemical development and production partner for its anti-inflammatory drug MRX-4, which is being developed to treat allergic rhinitis. Morria says Scynexis has already improved its original synthesis of MRX-4.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals has licensed rights to DARA, a compound it acquired in its 2008 acquisition of Pharmacopeia, to Retrophin for $1 million in cash and potential payments of more than $75 million. Retrophin plans to develop DARA for rare nephropathies and other indications.

Jubilant Biosys will provide medicinal chemistry, electrophysiology, and other services to Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals under a drug discovery collaboration. Jubilant says the pact will involve its scientists in Pennsylvania and India.

GlaxoSmithKline will license Galapagos’ investigational compound, GLPG0778, and a backup compound, GLPG0555. Both were discovered and developed through an immunoinflammatory alliance between the two firms. Galapagos could receive more than $45 million in milestone payments and royalties from GSK on the compounds.



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