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Business Roundup

March 27, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 12


Evonik Industries will buy innovativeHealth Group by the end of March for an undisclosed sum. The Spanish firm uses artificial intelligence to screen combinations of cosmetic and skin care ingredients for synergistic effects. The move is part of Evonik’s push into ingredients for personal care products.

Celanese has filed an antidumping complaint in the US against Korea Petrochemical Industry Co. over the latter’s pricing of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The polymer is used for its high strength and chemical resistance in applications including bulletproof vests and replacement hips.

Ube Industries is buying Premium Composite Technology North America, a Toyota affiliate that makes polymer compounds at a plant in Franklin, Indiana. Ube says the US purchase will complement its compounding operations in Japan, Spain, and Thailand.

Zymergen, a synthetic biology discovery firm, has bought enEvolv, a specialist in high-throughput microbial screening and engineering, for an undisclosed sum. Zymergen says the deal will boost its ability to deliver new products made via biomanufacturing by 20%.

Shell says it is increasing output of isopropyl alcohol, a key ingredient for hand sanitizers. The big oil company produces the alcohol at sites including Sarnia, Ontario.

Takeda Pharmaceutical and Codexis will research and develop gene therapies for diseases including lysosomal storage disorders. Codexis will supply novel gene sequences to improve efficacy; Takeda will use the genes to develop candidate treatments for the rare disorders.

Astellas Pharma will invest $80 million in CytomX as part of a deal to develop T-cell-engaging bispecific antibodies for cancer treatment. The parties will use CytomX’s Probody technology, which keeps antibodies inactive until they are activated by proteases in the tumor microenvironment.

Schrödinger, a company known for its physics-based molecular modeling software, has expanded a partnership with AstraZeneca to apply computational chemistry to increasing the affinity and selectivity of biologic drugs. The pair already collaborate on small-molecule drugs.



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