BUSINESS ROUNDUP | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 27 | p. 11 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 2, 2007

BUSINESS ROUNDUP

Department: Business

Messer Group will invest roughly $60 million in a new production base to be located at a site still being determined in the common border territory of Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The plant is scheduled to begin production of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon in 2009.

Solvay is expanding the capacity of its joint-venture soda ash plant in Devnya, Bulgaria, to 1.5 million metric tons, up from 1.2 million metric tons per year. The Devnya site will become one of the world's largest soda ash plants to use the Solvay process. The expansion is part of a three-year, $150 million upgrade of the site.

BASF and China's State Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to cooperate in the area of eco-efficiency analysis, a method that BASF developed to determine which of several alternative products provides the greatest benefit with the least damage to the environment.

BASF's venture capital arm is increasing its stake in the Arizona company SDC Materials, which develops nanomaterials for automotive, chemical, and medical applications. BASF is providing $2 million, part of a $6 million funding round for the company. Last year, BASF invested $600,000 in a seed financing round.

Basell will shutter its Sarnia, Ontario, polypropylene plant by mid-2008. The company says the unit is small and uses an antiquated slurry technology. Basell recently announced that it is restarting a larger polypropylene line in Bayport, Texas.

Wyeth has exercised an option to license three bone drug targets from Galapagos, resulting in a roughly $1.4 million payment. This is the second milestone reached in a 2003 osteoporosis collaboration between the two firms. Galapagos could receive payments of up to nearly $40 million.

Vastox has completed construction of a current Good Manufacturing Practices-compliant facility at its subsidiary Dextra Laboratories, which specializes in carbohydrate chemistry (C&EN, June 4, page 26). The cGMP facility will allow Vastox to produce material in sufficient quantities for use in human clinical trials up to Phase II.

Actavis, a generic drugmaker, has agreed to a sweetened offer from its chairman, Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson, to buy the company and take it private. Under the new deal, Actavis shareholders will receive 1.075 euros per share, 10.6% more than in the previous offer.

Link Technologies, a Scottish oligonucleotides synthesis specialist, has received a license from PNA Inventor Group to make and sell the monomers for peptide nucleic acid (PNA) synthesis under PNA Inventor Group's patents. PNAs are oligonucleotide analogs in which the standard sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA is substituted by a pseudo-peptide backbone.

 
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