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Business Roundup

August 8, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 32

Celanese has ceased making monomethylamine in Cangrejera, Mexico, after a review determined that continued production was no longer a “viable business option.” The company has redirected monomethylamine equipment towards dimethylamine and trimethylamine.

The Chemical Heritage Foundationhas named former British Museum director Robert Anderson as its interim president. Predecessor Carsten Reinhardt, who headed CHF since 2013, is returning to Germany and will be a history of science professor at Bielefeld University.

Envergent Technologies, a joint venture of UOP and Ensyn, has begun building a facility in Port-Cartier, Quebec, that will make renewable fuels out of forest residues. The firm says fuels made with its RTP fast thermal conversion process have a carbon intensity that is 70% less than petroleum-based fuels.

Sumitomo Chemical and Zeon Corp. are studying the combination of their solution styrene-butadiene rubber businesses. A joint venture, the Japanese companies say, would accelerate new product development and enhance cost competitiveness.

JSR will sell its line of Opstar coating materials, used primarily to impart anti-reflective properties to liquid crystal displays, to Arakawa Chemical Industries. The business has been struggling due to poor market conditions, JSR says.

Avrobio has raised $25 million in its first formal round of funding. The cash will be used to advance gene therapies for Fabry disease and acute myeloid leukemia. Avrobio inserts a new, functional copy of a faulty gene into a patient’s own stem cells, which are then given back to the patient.

Evelo Biosciences will work with Mayo Clinic researchers on microbiome-based therapies for cancer. Using samples from patients, the partners will isolate and characterize cancer-associated bacteria that might be used to activate the immune system against cancer. Mayo Clinic has a financial interest in Evelo.


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