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Business Roundup

July 25, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 30

American Refining has become a 33.3% investor in Novvi, a lubricants joint venture started by biobased chemicals firm Amyris and Cosan, a Brazilian energy corporation. Novvi’s lubricants, made from sugar, are used in automotive, industrial, marine, and construction applications.

Celanese has named Verghese Thomas its chief technology and innovation officer. Thomas joined Celanese in 2009 after stints at Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and GE Plastics. Over the past 18, months he has led technology innovation efforts for Celanese’s engineered materials business.

Huntsman Corp. has secured about $9 million from Sustainable Development Capital, an investment bank, to fund energy efficiency projects at its site in Wilton, England. The projects are expected to cut the site’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28,000 metric tons per year.

Ecolab has acquired a minority stake in Aquatech, a privately owned firm based in Canonsburg, Pa., that provides technologies for treating water and cutting water use. Ecolab says the deal will boost the range of technologies that its water treatment subsidiary Nalco Water can offer.

BASF has forced an Australian company, PCT Holdings, to stop selling an insecticide for cockroaches that used fipronil as the active ingredient, claiming that PCT infringed on its patent. In 2013 and 2015, BASF won two similar patent infringement cases in Australia.

Oncorus, a new company developing oncolytic viruses, has launched with a $57 million financing round. Oncorus, which is based on the work of University of Pittsburgh scientists Joseph Glorioso III and Paola Grandi, says it will target highly malignant cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme.

Cambridge Consultants, an outsourced R&D provider, has launched a new company called Evonetix backed by the venture capitalist Hermann Hauser. Evonetix says it will apply an engineering approach to biology to synthesize DNA with very high accuracy.

Chronos Therapeutics has acquired three preclinical central nervous system drug development programs from Shire, which has become an investor in Chronos. The programs target addictive behavior, fatigue in multiple sclerosis, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

T2 Biosystems, a maker of time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance diagnostics, will work with Bayer to advance drug discovery and biomarker research for blood coagulation disorders. T2 says its system is sensitive to changes in blood viscosity and is being developed for platelet activity and clotting time measurements.



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