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Business Roundup

August 7, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 32

Solvay won a judgment from a German court against Canada-based Neo Performance Materials, formerly known as Molycorp, for infringing a cerium-zirconium mixed oxide rare earths patent. The rare earths are used to reduce auto emissions.

CABB Group is selling its monochloroacetic acid (MCA) site in India to Gujarat-based MCA maker Anugrah. At the same time, Germany-based CABB is investing $6 million in Jining, China, to expand capacity at its MCA plant, which first started up in 2016.

AkzoNobel and Itaconix, partners in the development and use of the biobased intermediate itaconic acid, have agreed on their first commercial application for the material. AkzoNobel plans to use the acid in products for the coatings and construction industries.

W.R. Grace is licensing its Unipol polypropylene technology to Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corp. (CKPC). A joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Co. of Kuwait and Pembina Pipeline Corp., CKP plans to build a propane dehydrogenation plant and polypropylene plant in Alberta.

LanzaTech is collaborating with South African iron and titanium smelting firm Swayana to use LanzaTech’s gas-metabolizing microbes to make ethanol from waste gas emissions. A pilot plant shipped to a smelter site in the Mpumalanga province underwent successful fermentation tests.

VenatoRx, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing antibiotics, has raised $42 million in a series B financing round led by Versant Ventures. VenatoRx’s most advanced asset is intravenous VNRX-5133, a novel β-lactamase inhibitor for multi-drug-resistant, Gram-negative infections, currently in Phase I trials with a marketed β-lactam antibiotic.

Neuland Laboratories, an Indian custom manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients, has opened a process engineering lab at its R&D center in Hyderabad. The facility is equipped with instrumentation and software to support a quality-by-design approach to engineering.

Amyris will receive $50 million in equity financing from DSM and Vivo Capital, a health care investment fund. This is DSM’s second $25 million investment in Amyris this year; the companies are working together on product targets including fermentation-derived vitamin A.



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