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Croda, Novasep part of key COVID vaccines

Both Croda International and Novasep are involved in some of the vaccines nearing approval for use in the treatment of COVID-19 it has emerged. This follows on from many other announcements of development agreements involving other fine chemical companies earlier in the year.

Sumitomo Chemical launches SynBio Hub

Shortly after handing over responsibility for biorational-related business to its Valent BioSciences (VBC) subsidiary in Illinois, Sumitomo Chemical has announced plans to establish SynBio Hub within its Biorational Research Centre. This is all part of the firm’s plans to build technologies using synthetic biology.

Cambrex expands US API capacity

Small molecule CDMO Cambrex is spending $50 million to expand its mid- and large-scale API manufacturing capacity in Charles City, Iowa. This is the sixth major investment at the site in the past eight years and follows on from a recent, smaller expansion at the site in Karlskroga, Sweden.

Merck KGaA presents sustainability strategy

Alongside its Q3 results, Merck KGaA presented its new sustainability strategy, which it said integrates sustainability “more strongly as an essential component of its corporate strategy”. The bonus pay of board members will be linked to progress in the three specific goals, which are:

1. “In 2030, Merck will achieve human progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology”, with focus areas of sustainable innovations and technologies for customers, and the impact of its technologies and products on health and well-being

CordenPharma further expands peptides

CordenPharma is to expand non-GMP solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) capacity at its centre of excellence for peptide process development and non-GMP manufacturing at Frankfurt, Germany. This should be complete in Q3 2021. The amount invested has not been disclosed.

The investment will increase lab space by 25% and add a dedicated explosionproof area. The latter will be supported by a tank farm, which, the company said, “will allow for the introduction of regular solvents, as well as compatibility with our green peptide manufacturing”.

Elementis, Grace reject takeover approaches

Two players in speciality chemicals, Elementis in the UK and W.R. Grace in the US, have both been approached with conditional takeover offers and have both rejected them in recent weeks.

Elementis announced on 12 November that it had received a preliminary conditional proposal from Minerals Technologies in relation to a possible cash offer at £1.07/share. Based on consultation with its financial adviser, it concluded that this “significantly undervalued Elementis and its future prospects” and the board unanimously rejected it.

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