Office Depot

Office Depot store at 111 Convenience Center Road in Champaign.

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If you want to shop at the Office Depot store in Champaign, better do it soon. That store is in the midst of a closing sale, and will close for good Nov. 14, the company said.

Signs outside the Champaign store said earlier this week that merchandise was being sold at 30 percent off, and store fixtures were also for sale.

“Office Depot is continuously evaluating and optimizing its retail footprint,” a statement from the chain’s media relations team said. “As a result, the company is closing its Office Depot store located at 111 Convenience Center Road in Champaign on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. This location is having a closing sale that began earlier this month.”

Office Depot said it plans to continue serving the local area with business services, products and technology solutions online at officedepot.com.

The company didn’t respond to questions about plans for other store closings this year.

Bakery opening soon

Suzu’s Japanese Bakery, under construction at 114 N. Walnut St. in downtown Champaign, is aiming to open in mid-October, according to one of the owners, Jennifer Gunji-Ballsruz.

The bakery is named for another of the four owners, Suzuko Enomoto, a chef from Japan who has relocated to the community to open a bakery, Gunji-Ballsruz said.

On the menu will be an array of Japanese baked goods, which are traditionally made with less sugar, she said.

That will include Japanese-style cream puffs filled with vanilla, chocolate, Matcha and seasonal custards such as chestnut and sweet potato.

Also on the menu will be lighter versions of strawberry shortcake and cheesecake, plus cookies, breads and beverages, among them Matcha (green tea powder) beverages.

Other owners include Nan Goggin and Alex Sentowski.

Small businesses honored

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Danville Area CommunityCollege has named its annual small business stars of the year.

This year’s honorees include:

— Bricks and Ivy, Hoopeston: Small business of the year.

— Venue 22, Danville: Small business start-up of the year.

— Amy Schweizer and Danville-based Tiny Troops Soccer: Entrepreneur of the year.

— Lincoln Lanes, Danville: Legacy small business of the year.

Bayer licenses compound developed on UI campus

The pharmaceutical company Bayer now has an exclusive licensing agreement for ERSO, a compound discovered by University of Illinois researchers, to potentially treat ER-positive breast cancer .

The intellectual property was originally licensed by the cancer drug development company Systems Oncology LLC in 2018, and Bayer recently entered into an exclusive global license agreement with that company.

ERSO, which is in pre-clinical development, was originally discovered in the labs of UI chemistry Professor Paul Hergenrother and UI biochemistry Professor David Shapiro.

Their research found the compound can target and kill certain cancer cells, especially breast cancer cells that express the estrogen receptor, according to an announcement by the UI.

About 70 percent of women who develop breast cancer have the ER (estrogen receptor) positive form, and the survival rate for ER-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is 20 percent, according to Systems Oncology.

Terms of the agreement call for Bayer to be responsible for developing and commercializing ERSO globally, with Systems Oncology to receive an upfront payment of $25 million. Systems Oncology is also eligible to receive $345 million upon certain development and commercialization milestones being reached, along with royalties on future global net sales.

Share news about your local business: Deb Pressey can be reached at 217-393-8258 or dpressey@news-gazette.com.

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