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Business Roundup

February 15, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 7


Kemira will spend close to $70 million to expand output of high-molecular-weight emulsion polymers, used in the oil and gas industry, at its plant in Mobile, Alabama. The firm will also add biobased acrylamide production at the site.

Nanoscale Components has raised $3 million from Volta Energy Technologies, an investor backed by partners Albemarle and Exelon. Nanoscale says its technology for embedding lithium in silicon-blended battery anodes reduces loss of active lithium and boosts energy-holding capacity.

Eni, an Italian oil company, and the Saudi chemical maker Sabic will jointly develop an Eni process to make synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The process, based on short-contact-time catalytic partial oxidation of natural gas, will be piloted at an Eni site.

Green Dot Bioplastics, a Kansas-based start-up, has raised $6.5 million in its first round of funding, led by Fulcrum Global Capital. Green Dot will use the funds to grow its sales of bioplastics and biocomposites, used in consumer and agricultural goods, and to develop new products.

Amicus Therapeutics has picked WuXi Biologics to manufacture the drug substance and final drug product for ATB200, a biologic Amicus is developing to treat Pompe disease, a rare muscular disorder. The deal is WuXi Biologics’ first commercial contract since its formation in 2010.

Germany’s Merck plans to spend $70 million to build a biopharmaceutical R&D facility in Billerica, Massachusetts. When completed in 2021, the 13,500 m2 facility will include wet labs and office space for 400 researchers focused on oncology and immunology.

Grey Wolf Therapeutics has launched with $14 million in its first formal funding round. The UK-based biotech is developing small molecules that help immune cells see and kill cancer cells. It will design modulators of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases, which are proteins involved in trimming receptors on the surface of cell-signaling proteins.

Culture Biosciences, a biomanufacturing start-up that allows synthetic biology companies to plan and monitor fermentation experiments from the cloud, has raised $5.5 million. The California-based firm’s clients include lab-made leather designer Modern Meadow, collagen maker Geltor, and microbe therapy firm Synlogic.



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