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July 12, 2004 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 82, ISSUE 28

Bioxel Pharma says it has sold its first kilogram-scale lots of paclitaxel, purified at Aerojet Fine Chemicals near Sacramento, Calif. Bioxel, which obtains the cancer drug from Canadian yew biomass, claims to have the world's largest and most secure source for natural paclitaxel.

Merck KGaA has picked Chemical Diversity Labs as its preferred provider of screening libraries of potential small-molecule lead compounds through 2006. Representatives from both companies will determine compounds to be synthesized by CDL for early screening at Merck; promising hits will then be further optimized.

◾ The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing a proposed settlement of its complaint that Aspen Technology's 2002 purchase of Hyprotech was anticompetitive. AspenTech says the settlement would enable it to continue selling all of its engineering software, including former Hyprotech products. Further details were not available.

◾ Basell is now producing metallocene-catalyst-based Metocene polypropylene resins in Bayport, Texas. The resins, which feature narrow molecular-weight distribution, had been available only from plants in Europe.

Clariant's AZ Electronic Materials unit is building a plant in Suzhou, China, that will produce low-cost materials for China's liquid-crystal-display industry. The plant will refine and recycle used materials such as isopropyl alcohol, edge bead removers, thinners, and strippers.

◾ Avecia has received the 2004 Innovation Award, sponsored by the U.K. government-funded Insight Faraday Partnership, for its advances in encapsulated metal catalysts for chemical transformations. Avecia developed the EnCAT catalysts with Cambridge University and subsequently commercialized them.

◾ Kraton Polymers has named George B. Gregory as its CEO. Gregory left his position as CEO of KoSa after KoSa's parent company, Koch Industries, purchased DuPont's Invista fibers unit and merged it with KoSa. Gregory is replacing Stephen M. Wood, who is becoming Kraton's vice chairman.



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