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Business Roundup

November 21, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 42


Baker Hughes has invested in Ekona Power, a Canadian start-up developing a low-carbon process for making hydrogen via methane pyrolysis. Ekona uses combustion and high-speed gas dynamics to turn methane into hydrogen and solid carbon.

Ascribe Biosciences, a crop protection company started in a Cornell University lab, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to commercialize a broad-spectrum biopesticide. The funding will expand field trials for wheat, soy, potatoes, and other crops.

Givaudan, a Swiss flavor and fragrance company, is acquiring the US-based fragrance creator Custom Essence, which specializes in natural fragrances. Custom Essence has annual sales of about $40 million.

Codexis, an enzyme engineering firm, has invested $10 million in Molecular Assemblies, which is developing an enzymatic process for DNA synthesis. Codexis is helping to improve the DNA polymerase enzymes that the process uses.

Jubilant Biosys will provide discovery chemistry to the San Diego–based cancer drug developer Turning Point Therapeutics. Jubilant says it will provide the services from its new chemistry research center in Greater Noida, India.

Deepcure has raised $40 million in series A funding to advance what it calls the world’s largest artificial intelligence drug discovery engine. Some of the funds will be used to build a robotic lab for small-molecule drug design and synthesis.

Roche will end its partnership with Atea Pharmaceuticals to commercialize a small-molecule antiviral for COVID-19. The drug, developed by Atea, failed in Phase 2 trials, but the firm still plans to test it in a Phase 3 study.

Shasqi has raised $50 million in series B funding to advance click chemistry to create therapeutics. The firm’s lead compound, SQ3370, uses click chemistry to release the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin right next to tumor cells.



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