Issue Date: March 31, 2008
Verenium disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that its auditors have expressed "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as an ongoing business owing to its past losses and future operating plans. Verenium is a cellulosic ethanol company formed last year through the merger of Diversa and Celunol.
Israel Chemicals Ltd. has signed a purchase agreement with Yam Tethys Partners that will allow it to convert its operations in Israel from fuel oil and gasoline to natural gas. ICL, a leading fertilizer and specialty chemicals maker, says the switch will save more than $100 million per year and reduce emissions.
Unidym, an Arrowhead Research subsidiary (see page 10), has spun off Ensysce Biosciences, which will focus on therapeutic uses of carbon nanotubes. Unidym will keep a significant equity stake in return for licensing patent rights to Ensysce. The new firm's research stems from the work of the late Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley.
Honeywell is expanding production of its Aclar moisture barrier film, used predominantly in pharmaceutical packaging. The project is expected to boost production of the polychlorotrifluoroethylene film in Pottsville, Pa., by up to 23% by the end of 2008.
Suntech Power Holdings has secured an eight-year polysilicon supply agreement with South Korea's DC Chemical worth about $630 million. Suntech is one of China's leading producers of photovoltaic solar cells.
Desotech, DSM's UV-curable coatings business, has acquired Polymeric Processes, a producer of UV-curable coatings for tube and pipe applications. Desotech says PPI will fit into its UVention group, which develops custom UV-curable materials.
FirstNano, a division of CVD Equipment, will work with Brooklyn College to develop zinc oxide-based nanowires and related semiconductor devices. The partners' goal is to fabricate UV-light-emitting chips for medical and data-storage devices and biological analysis tools.
Affymetrix has signed an agreement under which the Indian biotechnology company Avesthagen will use the firm's microarray technology for a genetic study of more than 60,000 Parsi individuals. The project will explore the genetic basis of longevity and establish a genetic, genealogic, and medical database of the Parsi-Zoroastrian population.
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