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Business Roundup

December 1, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 48

AkzoNobel has pleaded guilty in Canadian federal court to fixing prices of hydrogen peroxide sold in Canada between 1998 and 2001 and will pay a fine of $3.2 million. The country's Competition Bureau says it is investigating other potential price fixers.

Linde has won contracts from Baoding Tianwei, Hangzhou Amplesun Solar, and ENN Solar to supply industrial gases, including silane and hydrogen, for new solar cell plants. Linde says it now controls more than 50% of the Chinese market for specialty gases used in thin-film photovoltaic manufacturing.

SABIC Innovative Plastics will reduce production across its engineering plastics portfolio by up to 20%, effective immediately. The company says the move is a response to "significantly softening resin demand caused by the global economic slowdown."

BASF will open a new plant to produce up to 3,500 metric tons per year of piperazine chips at its Antwerp, Belgium, site in the first quarter of next year. Piperazine is used to make pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, and adhesives.

The European Commission made unannounced inspections at a number of pharmaceutical companies last week, acting on the belief that they are engaging in restrictive business practices. EC says the inspections are not related to a round of drug company raids that took place in January 2008.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has opted to codevelop and comarket Exelixis' cancer therapy candidate XL413 as part of an existing multidrug agreement. The biotech firm says it will receive a $20 million milestone payment and share U.S. profits with BMS.

Cephalon has obtained an exclusive license to Lupuzor, a drug being developed by the British firm ImmuPharma for the treatment of lupus. Cephalon will pay ImmuPharma $15 million up front and could make up to $500 million in various milestone payments.

ChemDiv, a San Diego-based contract research organization, has extended an R&D collaboration with Avineuro Pharmaceuticals. Avineuro was formed in August. In September, it licensed compounds from ChemDiv in the fields of Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.



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