Business Roundup | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 94 Issue 49 | p. 19 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 19, 2016

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Nantero, a Boston-area start-up, has raised $21 million to bring carbon-nanotube-based computer memory to market in consumer electronics and other products. The firm has raised $110 million to date from Globespan Capital Partners and others.

Molecular Assemblies, a San Diego-based start-up developing enzyme-based DNA synthesis, has raised $2.3 million in a first round of funding from Agilent Technologies and other investors. The firm says its biocatalyst route is greener and makes longer DNA sequences than traditional phosphoramidite chemical methods.

Amyris will sell half of its squalane business to the Japanese specialty chemical firm Nikkol for up to $20 million. The two companies will then establish a cosmetic ingredients joint venture. Nikkol already distributes Amyris products in Japan.

Oxford Nanopore Technology, a U.K. firm that designs portable DNA/RNA sequencers, has raised $126 million from private investors to fund its expansion, particularly in Asia. The funding round brings total investment in the company to about $440 million.

Goldfinch Bio has been launched by the venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures. Armed with $55 million in Series A funding, Cambridge, Mass.-based Goldfinch will pursue new treatments for kidney diseases based on the discoveries of its scientific founders.

Bayer and Versant Ventures have invested $225 million to launch BlueRock Therapeutics. The Canadian company plans to develop induced pluripotent stem cell therapies for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders. Its technology is based on the work of Nobel Prize winner Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University.

Ixchelsis, a U.K. start-up, has raised $12 million from Pfizer Ventures to advance Phase IIb clinical trials of IX-01, an oxytocin antagonist that treats premature ejaculation. IX-01 was discovered by Pfizer.

Evotec and Forge Therapeutics will develop small molecules that block LpxC, a Gram-negative antibacterial target. Evotec will optimize LpxC inhibitors discovered using Forge’s metal-binding pharmacophore library. Forge was spun out of the labs of University of California, San Diego, chemist Seth Cohen.

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