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Business Roundup

by Alexander H. Tullo
August 19, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 29


Koch Fertilizer is spending $30 million on improvement projects at its site in Dodge City, Kansas. The program, set for completion next year, will increase capacity of urea–ammonium nitrate by 35,000 metric tons per year.

Merck KGaA is purchasing the chemical unit of the South Korean firm Mecaro for about $110 million. The unit, which has around 100 employees, makes chemical precursors for semiconductors.

Mitsui Chemicals and Teijin are developing bisphenol A and polycarbonate resins derived from biomass feedstocks. Mitsui has been loading vegetable and residual oils into its naphtha-based ethylene crackers since December 2021 and will account for the biobased content of the new products using a mass-balance approach.

SK Innovation will spend $221 million to build an ethylene acrylic acid plant in Jiangsu Province, China. The chemical is a strong but reversible adhesive resin that SK says reduces plastic use and aids recyclability.

Greenlight Biosciences, a company developing RNA-based pesticides and vaccines, has raised $109 million to help deliver an RNA pesticide to control the Colorado potato beetle. The company anticipates receiving approval for that product in the next few months.

Evonik Industries plans to expand production capacity for its Acematt precipitated matting agents for coatings at its facility in Taiwan by the second half of 2023. The Acematt line enables paint and coatings formulators to choose the look of their products, from semigloss to matte finishes.

Constructive Bio, a UK synthetic biology start-up, has raised $15 million in seed funding to produce polymers with nonnatural amino acids for health-care, agriculture, and manufacturing applications. The technology was developed in Jason Chin’s lab at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

MediciNova will evaluate several of its small-molecule drug candidates, including its neurodegenerative disease therapy ibudilast, to treat long COVID. The biopharmaceutical firm will collaborate with the University Health Network, a Toronto-based academic health sciences center, to run clinical trials.



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