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Business Roundup

July 4, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 27

Cathay Industrial Biotech is embarking on a $500 million project to boost capacity for biobased long-chain dibasic acids, 1,5-pentanediamine, and derivative nylons. Shanghai-based Cathay calls itself the world’s only industrial biotech firm to capture a dominant market share from chemically produced incumbents.

908 Devices recently opened a 200-m2 applications development and R&D center near the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The firm, which makes handheld mass spectrometers and microfluidic separation devices, also received a $165,000 state tax incentive to create 11 jobs at its Boston headquarters.

Arkema has opened an innovation center at South Korea’s HanYang University to support customers in electronics, composite materials, and renewable energy markets. The 1,000-m2 facility supports 10 scientists and complements the firm’s research centers in China and Japan.

Monsanto and Sumitomo Chemical have joined to fight tough-to-control weeds. The two firms will further develop Monsanto’s traits for crops tolerant to the protoporphyrinogen oxidase, or PPO, inhibitor class of herbicides in tandem with Sumitomo’s new broad-spectrum PPO inhibition chemistry.

Evonik Industries is acquiring Transferra Nanosciences, a Canadian contract development and manufacturing organization. Transferra, which offers liposomal drug delivery systems, will become part of Evonik’s parenteral drug delivery technologies and services business.

AbbVie has ended a partnership with Infinity Pharmaceuticals to develop duvelisib, a PI3K inhibitor targeted at various blood cancers, after a disappointing clinical trial. Infinity will lay off 100 employees, 58% of its workforce.

Novartis will pay Xencor $150 million for rights to codevelop T-cell-engaging bispecific antibodies targeting acute myeloid leukemia and B-cell malignancies. Novartis also receives rights to develop four other programs and to use Xencor’s antibody engineering platform to develop up to 10 additional antibodies.

Charles River Laboratories has acquired Blue Stream Laboratories, a Woburn, Mass.-based contract research organization specializing in biologics and biosimilars. CRL notes that it is making the purchase at a time of increasing development of biologic and biosimilar drugs.



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