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Business Roundup

March 16, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 11

Evonik Industries has signed a deal to acquire Monarch Catalyst, an Indian maker of catalysts for fat and oil hydrogenation and other applications. Monarch has about 300 employees and annual sales that Evonik puts in the “low double-digit-million-euro range.”

Sumitomo Chemical's Valent BioSciences unit has acquired Oregon-based Mycorrhizal Applications, a developer of mycorrhizal plant growth products. Mycorrhizal fungi are soil organisms that colonize plant roots and help plants absorb water and nutrients more efficiently.

Lygos, an industrial biotech firm, says it has achieved pilot-scale production of malonic acid from sugar at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s advanced bio­fuels process demonstration unit. Malonic acid, typically derived from chloroacetic acid and sodium cyanide, is an ingredient in pharmaceuticals, flavors, and fragrances.

BASF says it will spend a “double-digit million-euro amount” expanding capacity to make 20 different specialty amines at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The products are used to make coatings, lubricants, crop protection chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

Oxford Photovoltaics, a U.K.-based developer of perovskite solar technology, has raised $12 million from undisclosed new investors as part of a venture funding round. The company says it will use the money to expand its intellectual property portfolio and move toward full-scale production.

Agilent Technologies says Tufts University will adopt its OpenLab software for data acquisition, management, and sharing to support researchers at its three Massachusetts campuses. The platform consists of a chromatography data system, electronic laboratory notebook, and content management capabilities.

Illumina will collaborate with Merck Serono to develop next-generation sequencing-based oncology diagnostics. The assays will be used to simultaneously detect and measure multiple genetic variants to help select drugs in clinical trails.

AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit and the Joslin Diabetes Center are joining to develop medicines for diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders. MedImmune will provide unspecified research funding to Joslin and drug development expertise to complement Joslin’s early metabolic disease research efforts.



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