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Business Roundup

February 19, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 8

Dow Chemical has paid $325,000 to the Securities & Exchange Commission to settle charges that a subsidiary made improper payments to Indian government officials from 1996 to 2001 to expedite registration of three pesticides. Dow neither admits nor denies the allegations.

Almatis has acquired the 40% of an Indian joint venture that it didn't already own from partner ACC, an Indian cement maker. The Calcutta-based business processes tabular alumina for Indian refractory, ceramic, and polishing markets.

Sasol will double diethyl ether capacity to 5,000 metric tons per year at its plant in Herne, Germany. Diethyl ether is used as an extraction solvent in the production of pharmaceuticals, flavors, and fragrances.

Rockwood Holdings has sold its U.S. silicon wafer reclaim business to U.K.-based Pure Wafer for $11 million. Rockwood says it will retain its European wafer reclaim business, which has been consolidated into a single site in France. Last month, Rockwood sold its fine chemicals business, Novasep, to a consortium of managers and private equity firms.

Johnson Matthey and China Petrochemical International Co. (Sinopec) have started a collaboration whereby Johnson Matthey will market Sinopec's oil refinery hydroprocessing catalysts outside of China. The companies say they may collaborate on other refinery catalysts as well.

Invitrogen will sell its BioReliance unit to the private equity firm Avista Capital Partners for about $210 million. BioReliance provides contract biologics safety testing, drug production, and preclinical testing services.

GlaxoSmithKline has appointed Stephanie Burns as a nonexecutive director of its board. Burns, the CEO of Dow Corning, holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Iowa State University.

ChemDiv has expanded a three-year-old discovery chemistry service agreement with Germany's Merck. ChemDiv says the new deal, through 2009, roughly doubles the services it provides Merck from its Chemical Diversity Research Institute in Moscow.

Materia has licensed its metathesis catalyst platform to Aileron Therapeutics, which will use it to develop peptide drugs that act on intracellular protein-protein interaction targets. Materia says it will receive license fees, milestone payments, and royalties.

Akzo Nobel's Organon drug unit and Pharmacopeia have entered an alliance to discover and develop small-molecule therapies in neuroscience, immunology, and other applications. Pharmacopeia will receive $15 million upfront and additional research funding over five years.



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