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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.

Brazilian plant nutrition buy for ICL

Israel’s ICL has agreed to acquire Fertiláqua, one of Brazil’s largest speciality plant nutrition companies from private equity firm Aqua Capital for about $120 million. The company said that this will expand its portfolio and significantly enhance its customer base and presence across agriculture regions in Brazil.

Azelis buys Bronson and Jacobs China

Azelis has further strengthened its Asian personal care business by acquiring Bronson and Jacobs Hong Kong and its fully owned subsidiary in Shanghai from Ixom. The deal, for which terms were not disclosed, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Bronson and Jacobs China specialises in the distribution of personal care ingredients, mainly for skin care, for various global principals. It has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the latter also including a personal care laboratory.

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