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Business Roundup

November 14, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 45

Orion Engineered Carbons will close its 45,000-metric-ton-per-year carbon black plant in Bupyeong, South Korea. The firm cites high labor costs and poor feedstock availability. Its facility in Yeosu, South Korea, will remain open.

Merck KGaA and Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan have agreed to share some of their patents on materials for making organic light-emitting diodes. Primarily an oil refiner, Idemitsu has been conducting research on OLED materials for several years.

FMC Corp. and BASF will jointly develop crop protection products for the U.S. corn market. The firms will combine insect and disease protection active ingredients, namely BASF’s Headline fungicide and FMC’s Capture insecticide, which is designed to be blended with liquid fertilizers.

BioConsortia, a developer of yield-enhancing microbial crop treatments, has raised $12 million from investors including Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital. The funds will help advance field trials of seed and soil treatments that enable drought tolerance, efficient fertilizer use, and resistance to soil-borne diseases.

Recipharm will spend $1.3 million to expand its small-scale active pharmaceutical ingredients plant in Dugnano, Italy, upgrading development laboratories and adding analytical tools. The company says it expects to double its R&D staff at the facility over the next three years.

Neopharm Labs, a Montreal-based pharmaceutical services firm, has acquired Averica Discovery Sciences, a Boston-area contract research firm that specializes in early-stage research and analytical development. The acquisition gives Neopharm its first U.S. operation.

Infectious Disease Research Institute has received $7.5 million in funding and an equal amount of in-kind services from Eli Lilly & Co. The Seattle, Wash.-based nonprofit will apply the award to the discovery of anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has sold Lexicon Pharmaceuticals the rights to BMS-986176, a small molecule for neuropathic pain that is expected to begin Phase I studies in 2017. The drug candidate, now called LX9211, was discovered as part of a research alliance between the two firms.

BenevolentAI, a British firm that applies artificial intelligence methods to drug development, has licensed a series of small-molecule drug candidates from Janssen Pharmaceuticals. BenevolentAI hopes to begin Phase IIb clinical trials next year.



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