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Business roundup

May 25, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 21

BASF plans to build a methylamines plant in Geismar, La., scheduled to start up in 2011. The company says the methylamines will serve as raw materials for some 20 specialty amines already made at the plant.

Perstorp will mothball its pentaerythritol facility in El Salto, Chile, because of global overcapacity. About 80 jobs will be affected. Pentaerythritol derivatives are used to make alkyd resins, varnishes, and polyvinyl chloride stabilizers.

Valentine Chemicals, in Lockport, La., has acquired 3M's ceramic mircospheres business. The microspheres reduce gloss and improve the scrub resistance of coatings.

Redpoint Bio will reduce its workforce from 25 to 11 employees. The move is in addition to a reduction of 12 employees announced in February and comes in response to the termination of the biotech flavor firm's collaboration with Givaudan.

Merck Serono has withdrawn its voluntary cash tender offer for MediCult, a fertility medicines firm. Merck Serono says it did not receive the minimum 90% of MediCult shares required to complete the offer by the May 15 deadline.

ExxonMobil Chemical plans to increase butyl rubber capacity by 18,000 tons per year at its Kawasaki, Japan, plant. The expansion will bring total capacity to 98,000 tons on completion in late 2010.

Opsona Therapeutics says the Roche Venture Fund and Enterprise Ireland will contribute $4.5 million to its funding round that was announced in February. The added investment brings the total raised to about $29 million. Opsona will use the money to expand clinical development of its anti-inflammatory agents.

Oxford BioTherapeutics will work with GlaxoSmithKline to discover and develop therapeutic antibodies against oncology targets. Under the alliance, Oxford will receive an up-front payment and potential milestones totaling $370 million, as well as royalties on sales of resulting anticancer products.



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