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November 19, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 47

Dow Chemical will take full ownership of Pacific Plastics (Thailand) Ltd. by acquiring the 51% interest held by Siam Cement and other minority partners. Pacific Plastics makes polyols and polyurethane systems in Map Ta Phut, Thailand.

Cambrex is closing its North Brunswick, N.J., technical center by the end of the year and will consolidate its U.S. R&D activities and small-scale active pharmaceutical ingredient production in Charles City, Iowa. The closure will result in a restructuring charge of about $2 million.

Cognis has invested nearly $15 million to expand production of sterol esters at its plant in Illertissen, Germany. The new facility at the company's Nutrition Health Competence Center produces plant sterol esters for use as ingredients in so-called functional foods.

Solvay has opened an 80,000-metric-ton-per-year calcium chloride pellet plant in Rosignano, Italy. Two-thirds of the plant's output will be marketed by Zirax, a London-based company that calls itself the world's second largest supplier of calcium chloride pellets.

PolyOne, a supplier of specialized polymer materials and services, has agreed to acquire GLS Corp., which provides elastomers for consumer and medical applications. GLS, a privately held firm based in McHenry, Ill., has annual sales of about $130 million.

Dow Chemical intends to stop producing the coatings additives hydroxyethyl acrylate and hydroxypropyl acrylate by the end of the year. Dow says demand for the products has been falling due to a shift to automotive coatings with low hydroxylalkyl acrylate content.

Ventana Medical Systems has entered a confidentiality agreement with Roche under which the cancer diagnostics company will let Roche look at its books. Ventana says it still believes that Roche's $75-per-share takeover offer, made in June, is "grossly inadequate."

Direvo, a German biotech firm, will apply its protein-engineering capabilities to create novel proteases for Pfizer as potential preclinical drug candidates. Pfizer will be responsible for compound development and marketing. Direvo will receive payments for hitting R&D milestones as well as royalties for any products that reach the market.

Sanofi-Aventis will pay $10 million up front and up to $70 million in milestones for access to Acambis' West Nile virus vaccine. The Cambridge, England, and Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech firm will continue to develop the vaccine, which is currently in Phase II trials.



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