Washington Editor

Symyx Technologies Inc. and UOP LLC entered a multiyear intellectual property cross-licensing agreement relating to their respective patents for high-throughput research methodologies and equipment.

Financially, Symyx, of Santa Clara, Calif., will receive annual license fees while UOP will be due payments from Symyx based on sales of instruments by Symyx within the scope of certain UOP patents.

Officials at Symyx were not available for comment.

Symyx develops and applies high-throughput experimentation to the discovery of innovative materials for the chemical, life science, electronics, consumer goods and automotive industries. The company works with other firms through research collaborations, Discovery Tools sales (the firm's integrated work-flow systems) and license of materials, intellectual property and software.

The company has a number of research and development collaborations. For example, this summer Symyx extended agreements with both BP Petrochemicals, a unit of BP plc, of London, and Dow Chemical Co., of Midland, Mich.

The deal with BP Petrochemicals, initially signed in January 2003, involves discovering new and improved materials relevant to BP's commodity chemical business.

Meanwhile, the agreement with Dow focuses on the discovery of catalysts to produce polyolefins, which are polymers used in a variety of industrial and consumer plastic products.

Last year, Symyx signed a five-year deal worth at least $200 million with ExxonMobil, of Irving, Texas. ExxonMobil's program with Symyx is for establishing high-throughput research laboratories deploying the latter's Renaissance informatics software, and Symyx expects to reap the money in alliance activities, purchases of discovery tools and licensing fees. Symyx also could get royalties from product sales. (See BioWorld Today, July 23, 2003.)

Symyx in May 2003 spun off Symyx Therapeutics Inc. with $8 million in funding from a Series A round led by The Sprout Group, with 5AM Ventures also participating. The two Menlo Park-based financiers gained a majority interest in the spin-off, with Symyx Technologies retaining the rest. (See BioWorld Today, May 12, 2003.)

UOP, of Des Plaines, Ill., is an international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants and technical services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical and gas-processing industries.

Symyx's stock (NASDAQ:SMMX) moved up 71 cents Wednesday to close at $17.80.

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