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Business Roundup

January 21, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 3

Yuntianhua International Chemical, a state-owned Chinese firm, lost five people in a fatal sulfuric acid plant explosion on Jan. 13. The accident, in the southeast China city of Kunming, also injured 33, the country's official media reports. The company produces fertilizers.

Lanxess will discontinue production of ion-exchange resins at its Birmingham, N.J., plant in May. The closure will affect about 90 employees. Lanxess says it will continue to supply customers from plants in Leverkusen and Bitterfeld, Germany, and a planned facility in Gujarat, India.

Galapagos has extended a drug discovery collaboration with Eli Lilly & Co. through the end of 2008. Galapagos' BioFocus DPI division will screen Lilly-provided compounds to identify candidates for the drug company's nuclear hormone receptor research program. The extension of the three-year-old pact is worth more than $1.2 million for Belgium-based Galapagos.

Merck KGaA has acquired Solvent Innovation, a 10-year-old ionic liquids company based in Cologne, Germany. According to Merck, Solvent Innovation has developed ionic liquids for lubricant and plastic antistatic applications.

Linde will upgrade facilities in Lovington, N.M., and Phoenix to improve quality and supply of anhydrous hydrogen chloride for semiconductor and other customers. The upgrade includes a 35% capacity expansion at the Phoenix plant.

NanoGram, a developer and licensor of technology for the manufacture of nanostructured materials, has completed a $32 million financing round. The firm says the funds will help it expand its solar technology and nanomaterials businesses.

Syngenta and Rohm and Haas's AgroFresh subsidiary plan an alliance to commercialize AgroFresh's Invinsa technology for stress protection in field crops. Invinsa is a sprayable form of 1-methylcyclopropene now used to maintain the freshness of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Pfizer has obtained a worldwide exclusive license to develop Scil Technology's CD-RAP, a cartilage-specific growth factor applicable to patients with osteoarthritis. Scil could reap $250 million in milestones.



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