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Kebotix, Mitsubishi Chemical Join Forces in Tackling Toxicity

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has selected Kebotix, a U.S.-based technology platform company for new chemicals and materials, to expand its long-standing effort to solve environmental problems with greener chemistry while still providing a diverse range of products.

The initial project of this newly announced collaboration will focus on discovering a substitute for Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, in a universal product to be disclosed at a later date. BPA, widely found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, is considered toxic by health experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 9 of 10 Americans are exposed to BPA due to its heavy use in food and drink packaging.

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Kebotix will implement computational and machine learning models, combined with experimental testing, to discover candidate substances that is expected to lead to finding a suitable substitute for BPA. For this and future endeavors with MCC, Kebotix will apply its expertise in using AI and robotics to speed up the discovery, synthesis, processing and application of advanced materials.

Rather than take the traditional R&D approach of iterating off existing solutions or running an unnecessary large number of experiments with low successes, Kebotix will implement computational and machine learning models to predict the desired properties, according to Christoph Kreisbeck, Kebotix chief commercial officer and founder.

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“This approach facilitates high-throughput virtual screening to evaluate millions of potential molecular designs,” he said. “Kebotix will then apply cheminformatics methods to select a chemically diverse range of candidates for experimental validation.”

Partnering with an industry giant to discover a substitute for BPA is the latest in a succession of sustainability projects for Kebotix. Every undertaking by the company has an added goal of solving the world’s most urgent problems and is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, according to Kebotix CEO Dr. Jill S. Becker.

“The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has pointed to widespread human exposure as a reason people may be concerned about BPA,” said Becker, also a Kebotix founder. “We at Kebotix share in a worldwide concern, especially among parents, that BPA has effects in fetuses and newborns as the NIH found in a recent animal study.”

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