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Business Roundup

October 26, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 42

Syngenta’s CEO, Mike Mack, is leaving at the end of October, saying it is time for a new leader. The move comes two months after Syngenta rejected for a third time a takeover approach by its crop protection rival Monsanto.

Orion Engineered Carbons will acquire a 67% stake in the Chinese carbon black maker Qingdao Evonik Chemical from Evonik Industries and German Investment Corp. Orion, once part of Evonik, also is negotiating to buy the rest of Qingdao from state-owned Jiaozhou Finance Investment Center.

MycoTechnology, a food technology firm, has raised $9.2 million in a first round of funding from Seed 2 Growth Ventures and others. Myco says its uses mushroom fermentation to remedy bitterness in, and add nutrition to, products such as coffee, tea, wheat, and stevia.

FDA has awarded $4.9 million to schools within the NSF Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS) to help move continuous processes into drug manufacturing. About 80% of the grant money will go to C-SOPS partners Rutgers University and Purdue University.

NantWorks, a group of health care firms backed by biotech entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong, has invested $50 million in Precision Biologics. The biotech is developing monoclonal antibodies and companion diagnostics for solid tumors. It has a treatment in Phase II studies for pancreatic and colon cancer.

Nimbus Therapeutics, a computational chemistry firm, has licensed small-molecule inhibitors of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 to Genentech for undisclosed up-front and milestone payments. IRAK4 is implicated in cancer and inflammation.


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