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Business Roundup

March 20, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 10


SK Global Chemical and Zhejiang Satellite plan to build a $175 million plant in Lianyungang, China, for the packaging polymer ethylene acrylic acid (EAA). SK became an EAA producer when it bought Dow’s business in 2017.

DMC Biotechnologies, a US start-up, says it has demonstrated at full scale its microbial fermentation process for making the amino acid l-alanine at the Leuna, Germany, site of its partner, EW Biotech. DMC says no further strain improvements are required to achieve its target selling price.

Ashland plans to increase production capacity for hydroxyethyl cellulose at its site in Nanjing, China. Ashland says that it is the leading producer of the natural polymer and that demand is growing for the material as a thickening agent.

Enko, a crop protection chemical start-up, has opened a headquarters and R&D facility in Mystic, Connecticut. The facility was previously used for agricultural research by Monsanto and then Bayer.

Unilever is investing $15 million in Closed Loop Partners’ Leadership Fund, a private equity fund that invests in recycling companies. Unilever aims for the investment to help recycle 60,000 metric tons of plastic packaging in the US by 2025.

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals has picked BioVectra to produce the monoclonal antibody fragment bentracimab for Phase 3 trials on reversing the antiplatelet effects of the blood thinner Brilinta. BioVectra recently completed its first commercial-scale run of bentracimab using Escherichia coli at its site in Nova Scotia.

ElevateBio, a cell and gene therapy technology specialist, has raised $525 million in a series C round of financing. Its capabilities include gene editing; induced pluripotent stem cells; and protein, viral, and cellular engineering.

Global Blood Therapeutics has licensed two early-stage small-molecule research programs for sickle cell disease from Sanofi’s Bioverativ subsidiary. Global Blood will pay Sanofi $2.25 million up front and up to $351 million in future milestone payments.



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