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Business Roundup

July 13, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 28

Praxair's surface technologies unit has acquired Sermatech International, a maker of advanced coatings used on industrial and aviation gas turbines, from private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners. In 2008, Sermatech had $116 million in sales; it employs 625 people.

Myriant Technologies will construct a pilot biorefinery at Buckeye Technologies' cellulosic products site in Perry, Fla. To be built using technology from the University of Florida and $20 million from the Florida Legislature, the refinery will make lactic and succinic acids from cellulosic feedstocks.

Lanxess has joined with Bayer Technology Services and German research universities and equipment producers to develop a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technology for making synthetic rubber. The three-year project will cost about $14 million, with a $7 million subsidy from the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research.

MorphoSys and Novartis have agreed to a full 10-year term for their biopharmaceutical discovery and development alliance, originally set up in December 2007. Novartis has committed to making payments of more than $600 million. The partners have two antibody programs in clinical development.

Santhera Pharmaceuticals is reorganizing to focus on product development and commercialization and will cut 26 of its 82-person staff by eliminating its in-house drug discovery efforts. The Swiss company intends to expand its product development efforts by in-licensing and reevaluating existing compounds.

Optimata has signed a drug development agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries focused on therapies for solid-tumor cancers. The partnership hopes to revitalize development of discontinued drug candidates shelved by their originators using Optimata's in silico biosimulation technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC), in Abu Dhabi, has completed its $2.3 billion acquisition of Nova Chemicals after receiving regulatory approvals. Federal agency Industry Canada had been reviewing the deal under the Investment Canada Act because it involved a Canadian firm being purchased by a foreign entity.



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