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Business Roundup

March 13, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 11

Wacker Chemie will spend about $7 million to expand silicone production at its Jandira site near São Paulo, Brazil. The firm says the project will boost output of antifoam compounds and specialty silicones for industries such as paper and personal care.

Vernalis and Servier, partners since 2007, have set up a new two-year oncology drug discovery collaboration. Vernalis will receive an initial $2 million for applying its fragment- and structure-based drug discovery methods to the program.

Pharmaron, a Beijing-based contract research firm, has agreed to buy a majority stake in a U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Shin-Nippon Biomedical Laboratories. Based at the University of Maryland BioPark, the subsidiary conducts Phase I and II clinical studies for drug industry customers.

Herbalife, a producer of supplements used for weight loss and nutrition, has set up a 275-m2 facility at the Bangalore, India, site of the contract research firm Syngene. Staffed with Syngene employees, the facility will help Herbalife formulate and test products for the Indian market.

Vaxess Technologies has received two grants totaling about $6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of polio and measles-rubella vaccines. The company uses silk-derived biopolymers to create controlled-release microneedle patches for transdermal delivery of vaccines.

UCB Biopharma has signed a multiyear “insourcing” agreement with the French contract research firm NovAliX. Under the pact, NovAliX will provide on-site chemistry services to support small-molecule drug discovery programs at Belgium’s UCB.

BioVersys, a Swiss biotech firm, will work with the U.S. drug discovery services firm Aptuit on new targets and molecules for Gram-negative bacteria. BioVersys studies small molecules that interfere with bacterial-resistance mechanisms.

Takeda Pharmaceutical invested in the $120 million initial public offering of Arix Bioscience, a London-based firm that finances and builds life sciences businesses. Arix says it will create and incubate companies in partnership with Takeda.


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