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Business Roundup

September 28, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 39

Makhteshim Agan Industries, the Israeli crop protection firm, and Cibus Global have formed a partnership that will employ Cibus’ plant-trait technology to develop proprietary traits in five major crops for the European market. MAI will invest up to $37 million over five years in the venture. Separately, it signed a deal to gradually acquire 50.1% of Cibus equity.

Halocarbon Products has licensed access to IBM patents related to hexafluoroisopropanol-based photoresists for semiconductor manufacturing. Halocarbon, which produces hexa­fluoroisopropanol for the anesthetic sevoflurane, says the deal allows it to provide advanced photoresist compounds.

Arkema will build a carbon nanotube pilot plant at its site in Mont, France. Set to open in early 2011, the 400-ton-per-year plant will be the world’s only carbon nanotube facility to use an entirely biosourced raw material, Arkema says. The firm opened a 20-ton-per-year plant in Lacq, France, in 2003.

American Pacific’s Joseph Carleone will become CEO of the aerospace equipment and fine chemicals firm at the end of the year. He succeeds John R. Gibson, who will remain as nonexecutive chairman.

Perstorp plans to stop production of polyol di­methylol butano­ic acid. The Swedish firm says it will work with cus­­tomers to find alternatives.

Arch Chemicals Chief Operating Officer Louis S. Massimo will be leaving the firm to pursue other interests. Arch plans to reassign his responsibilities to other senior executives.

Chemtura has asked a New York bankruptcy judge to allow it to close its Bio-Lab plant in Ashley, Ind., and consolidate operations in a Georgia facility. The cost-saving measure would result in the loss of 55 jobs.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Ambrx have formed an alliance to discover, develop, and commercialize protein drug candidates. Ambrx will receive an undisclosed up-front payment and is eligible for milestone payments and royalties on the sale of products emerging from the alliance.

SuperGen Chief Scientific Officer David Bearss will step down, effective Oct. 16, to become a director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Center for Investigational Therapeutics at the University of Utah. The new center is part of an expansion the institute began in October 2008. He will remain on the cancer therapeutics company’s scientific advisory board.

Biogen Idec has officially gone hostile in its bid for Facet Biotech, its partner in the development of two monoclonal antibodies. Last week, Biogen commenced a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Facet for $14.50 per share, despite Facet’s earlier rejection of the big biotech’s offer.



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