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Business Roundup

May 29, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 22

Covestro has named Markus Steilemann, currently chief commercial officer, as its next CEO. He will replace Patrick Thomas upon the completion of Thomas’s contract in September 2018. Thomas will have led Covestro, formerly Bayer’s plastics business, for 10 years.

Ineos has agreed to buy the oil and gas firm Dong Energy, the biggest private company operating in the North Sea, for $1.05 billion and another $250 million subject to certain conditions. Dong produces about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Hexion is expanding a research facility in Edmonton, Alberta, to develop lignin and other biobased raw materials as substitutes for phenol in wood adhesives. To be completed by the end of September, the facility will include a wood panel-board press line to test new adhesive formulations.

ONL Therapeutics has raised $4.25 million in its first formal round of financing, adding to a recent $1 million grant from the National Eye Institute. The University of Michigan spin-off will use the funds to support the preclinical development of ONL1204, a Fas inhibitor for the treatment of retinal detachment.

Novozymes will spend $36 million to expand its enzymes facility in Blair, Neb. The facility serves customers in the animal nutrition, agriculture, and biofuels industries. Nebraska is the number two U.S. ethanol producer after Iowa.

Merck & Co. has licensed from Teijin Pharma a preclinical antibody targeting the protein tau, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier this year Merck halted trials of verubecestat, a small molecule that treats Alzheimer’s by targeting amyloid plaques in the brain.

W.R. Grace has added a current Good Manufacturing Practices-compliant kilogram-scale suite at its facility in Albany, Ore. Grace says the lab will serve drug industry customers seeking cGMP starting materials and advanced intermediates.

John Wiley & Sons will link its ChemPlanner cheminformatics technology to reaction and other chemical information from CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society. The partners say the collaboration will accelerate the evolution of predictive chemical synthesis.



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