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Business Roundup

April 3, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 13


Air Products & Chemicals has agreed to buy five hydrogen plants in California and Delaware from the independent refiner PBF Energy for $530 million. The hydrogen, made via methane reformation, is used to remove sulfur from fuel.

Kemira, a specialty chemical firm based in Helsinki, has celebrated its 100th birthday. The firm says the problem-solving culture that got it through its first century will be even more important as it faces the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evonik Industries CEO Christian Kullmann has been appointed president of VCI, Germany’s leading chemical industry group. “We must now create the conditions together with politicians and unions so that our economy can switch back to growth as soon as possible,” Kullmann says in a statement.

Evolva, a biotech chemical developer, has updated its 2011 agreement with International Flavors & Fragrances to work on biobased vanillin. IFF will expand commercialization of the product and pay Evolva, which will help the firm break even by 2023.

Sumitomo Chemical has invested an undisclosed amount in Conagen, a Boston biotech firm. Conagen will use the funds to accelerate its work in synthetic biology and advance development of sustainable chemicals. It says it will benefit from Sumitomo’s manufacturing know-how.

Bedoukian Research and P2 Science will work together to develop insect pheromones made from plant-based chemicals. Bedoukian has expertise in pheromones; P2 has a suite of green chemistry technologies. The pheromones will be aimed at pest control applications.

Affinia Therapeutics has launched with $60 million in series A financing to develop adeno-associated virus vectors and gene therapies. The company is based on technology developed at the Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center.

Takeda Pharmaceutical is investing up to $44 million in Evox Therapeutics, a developer of the extracellular vesicles known as exosomes. The partners will use exosomes to deliver mRNA and proteins to treat rare diseases.



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