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Business Roundup

March 21, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 11

Spirit AeroSystems has acquired Fiber Materials from the investment firm Edgewater Capital for an undisclosed sum. With 220 employees in two locations, Fiber Materials produces high-temperature materials and composites primarily for aerospace and defense applications.

Domo Chemicals plans to build a nylon compounding plant in Zhejiang, China, with an initial capacity of 25,000 metric tons per year—capacity could double later—at a cost of $13 million. Domo plans to have the plant up and running by year’s end, despite the novel coronavirus.

Clariant will work with the British firm Floreon to extend the properties and market potential of the biobased polymer polylactic acid (PLA). Clariant says it will combine its polymer additives with Floreon’s enhanced PLA, which the company claims is four times as tough as conventional PLA.

Sumitomo Chemical will work with Kyoto University on materials and components for batteries with solid electrolytes. Sumitomo says the products would be safer than batteries with flammable liquid electrolytes and offer higher capacity, longer cycle life, and quicker charging.

ZincFive, a Portland, Oregon–based start-up developing nickel-zinc batteries, has raised $13.1 million in a third round of venture funding from 40 North Ventures and others. The batteries are low maintenance, have a long life, and operate over wide temperature ranges, ZincFive says.

Shanghai ChemPartner has opened a 24,000 m2 laboratory in Shanghai. The $35 million facility features drug discovery and testing assets and will house a staff of 700. The firm says the center will help it bring innovation to the contract pharmaceutical services it offers.

Microbiotix, a start-up in Worcester, Massachusetts, has won up to $2.86 million from Carb-X to develop a small-molecule antibiotic for multidrug-resistant gonorrhea. Microbiotix could earn up to $16 million more from the antibacterial R&D nonprofit if the program meets certain milestones.

OncoOne, an Austrian firm, has raised about $14 million in series A funding. The company seeks to develop drugs that target oxMIF, a disease-related cytokine it calls an unexplored target in solid-tumor drug discovery.



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