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Business Roundup

July 21, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 29

Evonik Industries and BP Ventures have participated in a financing round for Biosynthetic Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based firm that develops biobased synthetic oils called estolides. BP and Monsanto invested in the company in previous financing rounds.

3M is spending $11.2 million to add batch production of fine chemicals for the electronics industry to its plant in Decatur, Ala. The company says the facility, set to open in the second quarter of 2015, will mark its entry into this business.

Stepan will acquire Procter & Gamble’s sulfonation facility in Bahia, Brazil. Stepan says the acquired operation will enable it to increase production of surfactants to aid the country’s transition from soap bars to powder and liquid laundry detergents.

Hovione, a pharmaceutical services firm, is working with Ireland’s Merrion Pharmaceuticals to offer Merrion’s drug absorption enhancing technology, called GIPET, in formulating drugs for third parties. Merrion develops oral forms of drugs that, because they have suboptimal absorption, often must be injected.

Anthera Pharmaceuticals has bought Eli Lilly & Co.’s Sollpura, a non-pig-derived pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy for people with cystic fibrosis and other diseases that cause pancreatic enzymes to drop below needed levels. Anthera is now seeking funding to initiate a Phase III study of the product in mid-2015.

Waters Corp. will open a joint laboratory with the Chinese Pharmacopeia Commission. To be located in Beijing, the 1,300-sq-ft facility will research pharmacopoeia standards, develop test methods, and train technicians on basic and advanced test methods.

Eli Lilly & Co. and Immunocore are joining to develop T-cell-based cancer therapies using Immunocore’s ImmTAC immunotherapy technology. Lilly will pay the British firm $15 million up front per drug discovery program.

Novartis has teamed with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute to study two of the company’s anti­amyloid therapies in healthy people who carry a genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The goal is to show whether the drugs—an immunotherapy and a β-secretase inhibitor—can prevent or delay onset of the disease.



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