Issue Date: March 23, 2009
Impact Laboratories of Scotland will build and develop a new polymers R&D center for the Saudi Arabian conglomerate National Petrochemical Industrialization, known as Tasnee Petrochemicals. The $40 million center is scheduled to open later this year in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
PotashCorp is cutting back potash production by another 1.5 million metric tons, bringing its total output reduction in 2009 to 3.5 million tons. The company says customers still have excess fertilizer inventories, and it expects demand to recover in the second half of the year.
Almatis, a German maker of specialty alumina products, has named Remco de Jong as its new CEO. De Jong replaces Martin Laudenbach, who "has decided to step down to take on a new entrepreneurial opportunity," the company says.
SKion, a German investment firm, has acquired a 7.9% stake in SGL Carbon, a maker of carbon fiber and other carbon-based products. According to SGL, SKion wants to continue buying shares, but its holdings will remain below a 25% interest.
JSR is starting production at a plant in Schkopau, Germany, which produces solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber used in making tires that maximize car fuel economy. The 60,000-metric-ton-per-year plant is co-operated by Dow Chemical and JSR through an agreement that entitles each company to half of the output.
NanoGram and Teijin are joining to develop NanoGram's printed silicon ink for use on the Japanese firm's flexible substrates. NanoGram says it can enable the printing of semiconductors by dispersing silicon nanoparticles. The NanoGram ink/Teijin plastic combination, the partners say, can be used in printed electronics such as flat-panel display backplanes and thin-film photovoltaic cells.
Merck Serono and Fast Forward, a subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, will evaluate promising multiple sclerosis research projects together. Merck Serono will provide up to $19 million in funding.
Astellas Pharma has given up on its hostile attempts to buy CV Therapeutics for $16.00 per share, or $1.1 billion, and is dropping a related lawsuit. The decisions follow a friendly bid by Gilead Sciences, accepted by CV's board, to buy the firm for $1.4 billion (C&EN, March 16, page 22).
Bayer HealthCare and Tsinghua University will set up a research center at the school's main campus in Beijing. The center will conduct drug discovery and medical work in oncology, women's health, diagnostic imaging, and cardiology. Bayer is also setting up a corporate research facility in China's capital (C&EN, Feb. 16, page 22).
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