FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 16, 2020

Chemical & Engineering News announces 2020 list of 10 chemistry start-ups to watch

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2020 — Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), today unveiled its annual list of 10 chemistry start-ups to watch. The companies were chosen from among hundreds of nominations submitted from readers around the world and those compiled by the magazine’s writers and editors, who scoured the chemical, biotech and materials world for young companies with great promise. This week’s C&EN cover story profiles these companies and their potentially world-changing innovations.

In a year turned upside-down by the novel coronavirus epidemic, start-up founders and leaders have not lost their drive to solve difficult problems in drug discovery, waste recycling, sustainable materials and quantum computing. One firm, Aryballe, is developing a sensor that can mimic the human nose, a challenge chemists have grappled with for decades.

Below is the full Start-Ups to Watch list for 2020:

Aryballe: Identifying smells with an inexpensive handheld device

Culture Biosciences: Helping biotech firms screen microbes for large-scale production

Cygnal Therapeutics: Exploring the role of peripheral nerves in an array of diseases

Evrnu: Closing the textile manufacturing loop by turning old clothes into new fabrics

Lilac Solutions: Using ion exchange to enable faster, easier lithium extraction

Lycia Therapeutics: Expanding the scope of protein degradation for drug discovery

Natron Energy: Designing safe and reliable batteries with Prussian blue pigment

Protera: Computational biotech firm uses artificial intelligence to rationally design proteins

Ventus Therapeutics: Structure-based drug discovery targeting inflammasomes and innate immune system proteins

Zapata Computing: Software and strategy for quantum computing’s early adopters

C&EN’s Start-Ups to Watch list has already helped dozens of organizations achieve higher visibility. Shreya Dave, Ph.D., CEO of Via Separations, which was featured in the 10 Start-Ups to Watch class of 2019, says, “Via was honored to be recognized as a C&EN Start-Up to Watch in 2019. We think we're changing the world with cool and clever chemistry, and it's wonderful to see that others think so, too! Rarely do we find such knowledgeable and interesting partners as the C&EN audience, and it takes a village to build an impactful, tough tech business. We are thrilled to be part of the community and enthusiastic about scientific progress.”

“I’m excited to share with our readers how the 10 start-ups we selected are working to tackle a range of important global challenges spanning different aspects of sustainability and human health,” says Bibiana Campos Seijo, Ph.D., editor-in-chief and vice president of C&EN Media Group. “We’re now in our sixth year featuring up-and-coming chemistry-based start-ups. Companies we’ve highlighted in past years have gone on to do great things, and we’re confident this year’s group will also be successful.”

The full article, “C&EN's 2020 10 Start-Ups to Watch” was published Nov. 16, 2020, and is freely available at:

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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