Chevron Phillips completes pilot unit - C&EN Global Enterprise (ACS

NewLink and Tokai will cut jobs ... The plant is based on CP Chem's MarTech technology, which is used in 80 polyethylene plants operating in 16 countr...
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the U.S. and Australia, which it describes as being backward integrated into essential feedstocks.—MICHAEL MCCOY

▸ Cambrex rides a wave to further expansion


▸ NewLink and Tokai will cut jobs Setbacks in late-stage cancer clinical trials have led to job cuts at NewLink Genetics and Tokai Pharmaceuticals. NewLink will cut about 100 jobs, or more than 40% of its staff, as it winds down work on the cellular immunotherapy algenpantucel-L, which failed to show any effect against pancreatic cancer. The firm will focus on developing its IDO pathway inhibitor, indoximod, in multiple cancers. Likewise, Tokai will reduce its workforce by about 60% to just 10 full-time employees. The company recently halted a Phase III prostate cancer trial of its small-molecule drug galeterone. The company says it will explore options for galeterone.—ANN THAYER


▸ Chevron Phillips completes pilot unit Chevron Phillips Chemical has completed a polyethylene pilot plant at its R&D facility in Bartlesville, Okla. The plant is based on CP Chem’s MarTech technology, which is used in 80 polyethylene plants operating in

Chemical engineering intern Joshua Henderson in front of CP Chem’s new pilot plant. 16 countries. It will test new catalysts and polymers.—ALEX TULLO


▸ Takeda plans layoffs in R&D reorganization Takeda Pharmaceutical will eliminate an unspecified number of jobs as part of an R&D revamp. The company says it plans to centralize research in the U.S. and Japan, suggesting that its R&D center in the U.K., which employs 400, is threatened. Takeda’s research center in Shonan, Japan, on which it recently spent $1.8 billion, will concentrate on the central nervous system and regenerative medicine. The company also will continue to research vaccines, gastroenterology, and oncology. The layoffs and related restructuring will cost $740 million over the next two years, the firm anticipates.—JEAN-FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY

Business Roundup


▸ Celanese has ceased making monomethylamine in Cangrejera, Mexico, after a review determined that continued production was no longer a “viable business option.” The company has redirected monomethylamine equipment towards dimethylamine and trimethylamine. ▸ The Chemical Heritage Foundation has named former British Museum director Robert Anderson as its interim president. Predecessor Carsten Reinhardt, who headed CHF since 2013, is return-

ing to Germany and will be a history of science professor at Bielefeld University. ▸ Envergent Technologies, a joint venture of UOP and Ensyn, has begun building a facility in Port-Cartier, Quebec, that will make renewable fuels out of forest residues. The firm says fuels made with its RTP fast thermal conversion process have a carbon intensity that is 70% less than petroleum-based fuels. ▸ Sumitomo Chemical and Zeon Corp. are studying the

Following a $50 million expansion of its active pharmaceutical ingredients facility in Charles City, Iowa, earlier this year, fine chemicals maker Cambrex is already considering its next expansion at the site as well as improvements at plants in Sweden and Italy. The firm said on an earnings conference call that it expects to announce the projects, likely to cost about $20 million, by the end of the year. CEO Steven Klosk noted that the new capacity in Charles City is filling up quickly.—RICK MULLIN


▸ Amgen strikes immunotherapy deal Amgen will pay Advaxis $40 million up front and buy $25 million in Advaxis stock for rights to the personalized cancer immunotherapy ADXS-NEO. The treatment is created by sequencing a patient’s healthy and cancer cells to identify neoepitopes, or markers on antigens, that are most likely to prompt an immune response. Advaxis then uses an engineered strain of bacteria to deliver neoepitope peptides directly into cells that tell the immune system to recognize and combat tumor cells. The companies expect to start the first clinical trials of ADXS-NEO next year.—LISA JARVIS

combination of their solution styrene-butadiene rubber businesses. A joint venture, the Japanese companies say, would accelerate new product development and enhance cost competitiveness. ▸ JSR will sell its line of Opstar coating materials, used primarily to impart anti-reflective properties to liquid crystal displays, to Arakawa Chemical Industries. The business has been struggling due to poor market conditions, JSR says. ▸ Avrobio has raised $25 million in its first formal round of funding. The cash will be

used to advance gene therapies for Fabry disease and acute myeloid leukemia. Avrobio inserts a new, functional copy of a faulty gene into a patient’s own stem cells, which are then given back to the patient. ▸ Evelo Biosciences will work with Mayo Clinic researchers on microbiome-based therapies for cancer. Using samples from patients, the partners will isolate and characterize cancer-associated bacteria that might be used to activate the immune system against cancer. Mayo Clinic has a financial interest in Evelo.