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Business Roundup

November 30, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 47


Evonik Industries is “significantly” expanding production of its Rohacell high-temperature-resistant polymethacrylimide rigid foam at its site in Mobile, Alabama, to meet increasing demand. The firm expects to complete the expansion by October 2020.

Birla Carbon, a carbon-​black maker, will collaborate with Chasm Advanced Materials in nanomaterials for high-performance tires, novel coatings, and next-generation batteries. Chasm says it brings carbon nanotube ink and coating technology to the alliance.

Hebrew University’s technology transfer company, Yissum, is partnering with Universal Materials Incubator, a Japanese venture capital fund. The pact will focus on technology commercialization with Japanese firms and includes an investment in Yissum’s advanced materials and nanotechnology fund.

DSM has acquired AVA, a Boston-based personalized-nutrition firm that provides digital recommendations and coaching for weight loss and for countering diet-related chronic conditions. DSM, a nutritional ingredients maker, has similar partnerships with Mixfit, Wellmetrix, and Panaceutics.

Givaudan has agreed to acquire the $9 million-per-year cosmetics business of Indena, an Italian firm specializing in botanical active ingredients for drugs, food, and personal-care products. Indena will manufacture ingredients for Givaudan under a long-term agreement.

Thermo Fisher Scientific will spend $6 million to double laboratory and warehouse capacity at its gene therapy and viral vector contract services facility in Alachua, Florida. Thermo Fisher acquired the site when it bought Brammer Bio for $1.7 billion earlier this year.

VenatoRx Pharmaceuticals will receive up to $4.1 million in funding from the public-private partnership CARB-X to help develop a new class of antibiotics to combat multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. VenatoRx could get another $8.9 million as compounds progress through the clinic.

Phoenix Molecular Designs has raised $12 million in seed funding from Pallasite Ventures and World Changing Ventures to support clinical studies of its lead drug candidate, PMD-026, a small-molecule RSK inhibitor. PMD-026 is in a Phase I/Ib trial to treat women with triple-negative breast cancer.



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