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Business Roundup

April 16, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 14


Sumitomo Chemical will build an ethylene pilot plant at its site in Chiba, Japan. The facility’s raw material will be waste ethanol generated by Sekisui Chemical. The plant will be built by Toyo Engineering and open next year.

PQ Group is changing its name to Ecovyst as it focuses on catalysts and refinery services. The firm is selling its silicas unit to Koch Industries and Cerberus Capital Management for $1.1 billion.

Arkema has selected Dotmatics to supply electronic lab notebooks for its research sites in France. Under the 5-year agreement, about 800 users will get a shared platform for experiment documentation and data sharing.

Ilika, a UK start-up developing solid-state battery technology, has formed a collaboration with Comau, part of the automaker Fiat. The partners plan a yearlong project to design a pilot-scale battery production line.

Liverpool ChiroChem, a British start-up making building-block chemicals for drug R&D, has raised $2.75 million from Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the UK government’s Future Fund. The firm will use the cash to raise capacity.

Sanofi says it will spend about $480 million over 5 years to create a vaccine production site in Singapore. The facility, Sanofi’s first vaccine plant in Asia, will be able to produce three or four vaccines simultaneously, versus only one at the company’s current sites.

Senti Biosciences will partner with Spark Therapeutics, a gene therapy firm owned by Roche, to develop therapies that target specific cell types in the central nervous system, eye, and liver. Senti could earn more than $645 million in up-front and future payments.

Antios Therapeutics has raised $96 million in series B financing from multiple venture capital investors. Antios says the cash will support the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of ATI-2173, a small molecule that can shut down hepatitis B virus replication.



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