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Business Roundup

January 11, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 2

Evonik Industries is investing more than $50 million in a new specialty copolyester plant at its Witten, Germany, site. The resins are used in metal coatings such as coil coatings and the coatings for the inner lining of food cans.

Celanese and China’s Sichuan Wuliangye plan a joint venture to produce cellulose acetate-based specialty products including plastics and films. Under the agreement, Sichuan Wuliangye will contribute certain cellulose acetate production assets to the venture. Celanese will provide technology and know-how.

Gabriel Performance Products has acquired InChem’s phenoxy resins business, which is based in Rock Hill, S.C. Gabriel, a specialty chemical maker in Ashtabula, Ohio, recently acquired BASF’s Versamid line of polyamide curing agents used with solvent-borne epoxies.

Rodin Therapeutics and Biogen are joining to develop therapeutics for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen will make up-front and milestone payments to Rodin and has an option to acquire the firm. Rodin also raised $17 million from a preferred stock sale to Biogen and venture capital firm Atlas Venture.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Oncodesign have formed a partnership to develop macrocyclic compounds to treat cancer and other illnesses. The two will use Oncodesign’s platform for developing small macrocycles as well as its proprietary cancer pharmacology technologies. Oncodesign will receive an up-front payment of $3 million.

Merck KGaA, Pfizer, and Syndax have formed a partnership to evaluate the combination of avelumab, an investigational, fully human anti-PD-L1 1gG1 monoclonal antibody being developed jointly by the German firm and Pfizer with Syndax’s entinostat, an investigational small-molecule therapy targeting immune regulatory cells for treatment of ovarian cancer. Syndax will be responsible for conducting Phase I and II clinical trials.

Mimetas, a Netherlands-based biotechnology firm, will receive $1.6 million to develop an organ-on-a-chip model to predict the neurotoxic effects of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. A panel of experts, including from BASF, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline, working under the aegis of the U.K.-based National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research, made the award.

Baxalta has partnered with Danish recombinant antibodies and antibody mixtures expert Symphogen to develop immuno-oncology therapeutics against six targets. Baxalta will pay Symphogen $175 million up front in exchange for exclusive options to complete development of and commercialize the six therapies following Phase I development at Symphogen.



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