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Business Roundup

January 8, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 2


Ascend has purchased the French nylon compounder Eurostar Engineering Plastics, which specializes in halogen-free flame retardant formulations. Last year, Ascend bought two compounders in Italy and one in China.

Botanical Solution, a Davis, California–based start-up, has raised $3.3 million in a seed round of funding. BSI derives its lead product, a biofungicide, from young, lab-grown Quillaja saponaria trees; it can use the same plant system to produce the vaccine adjuvant QS-21.

Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Italian energy firm Eni, has appointed Adriano Alfani, a former Dow executive, its new CEO. Alfani, who started in the role Jan. 1, succeeded Daniele Ferrari, who held the position for almost 10 years.

Entegris says it will spend about $200 million to expand its facility in Taiwan over the next 5 years. The electronic materials firm says the project will increase output of filters, chemicals used to make semiconductors, and gas delivery systems.

UPM Biochemicals has agreed to acquire the full kraft lignin output of Domtar Paper’s Plymouth Mill in North Carolina. UPM will use the 20,000 metric tons per year of lignin to make products including phenolic resin replacements.

IconOVir Bio has launched with $77 million in series A financing to develop oncolytic virus therapies for solid tumors. The San Diego firm is based on research by scientific founder Clodagh O’Shea from the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.

Pfizer has formed a collaboration with Dewpoint Therapeutics, a drug discovery start-up focused on biomolecular condensates, also known as membraneless organelles. Dewpoint will earn up to $239 million from Pfizer for developing a therapy for myotonic dystrophy type 1.

Exo Therapeutics, a start-up in Cambridge, ­Massachusetts, has raised $25 million in series A financing to use DNA-encoded libraries to discover small-molecule drugs that target enzyme exosites. Exo was cofounded by David Liu, Alan Saghatelian, and Juan Pablo Maianti, a C&EN Talented 12 alum.



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