Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant Fuels Celanese’s Development of Medical Device

The foundation's $626,000 grant will be used by Irving-based Celanese Corporation to produce a refillable contraceptive implant. The project's goal is to help women in developing countries who lack access to modern contraception options, and could benefit from more flexibility and control.

To develop the device, Celanese will use its VitalDose drug delivery platform, an implantable device for controlled drug release that’s been used commercially in the U.S. and Europe.

With grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a North Texas-based firm is looking to fast-track the development of a new medical device.

With a nearly $626,000 award from the foundation formed by the Microsoft co-founder and his ex-wife, Irving-based chemical and specialty materials company Celanese Corporation says it plans to produce a refillable contraceptive implant.

“We have a long history working in the area of women’s health and are honored by the trust placed in our team through this grant from the Gates Foundation,” Laura Brand, vice president of Celanese’s medical and pharmaceutical business, said in a statement.

Prototype expected to be developed in 18 months

Using its VitalDose drug delivery platform, an implantable device for controlled drug release that’s been used commercially in the U.S. and Europe, the company said the grant funding will help it research, develop, and produce a functional prototype of the contraceptive implant within the next 18 months.

The company said the goal of the project is to help women in developing countries who lack access to modern contraception options and could benefit from more flexibility and control.

Celanese said work on the device will be conducted at its Pharmaceutical Development and Feasibility Lab, an addition to its existing research and development center in Florence, Kentucky, that the company completed last year.

Celanese’s growth fueled through acquisitions

Lori Ryerkerk

Founded more than a century ago, Celanese has grown to around 8,500 employees worldwide, reporting $8.5 million in revenue last year.

The company operates 35 production facilities globally, with regional headquarters in Amsterdam and Shanghai.

Celanese’s growth has been fueled through acquisitions—at least one per year since 2016—with and with its announcement earlier this year that it would acquire DuPont’s mobility and materials business for $11 billion. That was ranked by Bloomberg as one of the biggest chemical deals since 2020.

“(Our team’s) exceptional execution of our business models and M&A action plan, including securing financing for the (mobility and materials) acquisition amid a challenging market backdrop, has prepared us to address, from a position of strength, some of the developing macro concerns,” said Lori Ryerkerk, Celanese chairman and CEO, in the company’s Q2 earnings report in July.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.

R E A D   N E X T

  • The Dallas Foundation's 2022 Field of Interest grants aim to assist 51 organizations embracing a wide range of issues—including the arts, critical needs, children and families, animal welfare, and more. Here's the full list of recipients.

  • The T.D. Jakes Foundation, Dallas Mavericks, and Goldman Sachs announced the winners of its free, two-week immersive 'Hackathon' for kids aged 14 to 18. Six local high school students won for developing an app for people suffering from mental illness to get the help they need. The chairman of T.D. Jakes Foundation has today's "Last Word" on Dallas Innovates.

  • The "Transforming Communities"-themed event on October 6 features America’s most decorated track and field athlete, Allyson Felix. While the athletic legend may be retiring from competitive athletics, she's amplifying her voice for women’s rights. She'll also talk about launching her new brand for women, led by women.

  • HBCU HUB, a startup focused on connecting students to recruiters at historically Black colleges and universities, is moving its headquarters to McKinney with the aid of grant funding from the McKinney Economic Development Corporation’s Innovation Fund.

  • The Dallas City Council recently approved up to $31.4 million in tax increment financing for the first phase of the Dallas-based developer's planned mixed-use development near the UNT Dallas campus. University Hills could ultimately include 1,500 multi-family units, hundreds of single-family homes, 1.5 million square feet of commercial properties, and more than 50 acres of green space.