Business Roundup | December 7, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 49 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 49 | p. 23 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 7, 2009

Business Roundup

Department: Business

China’s Ministry of Commerce will launch an antidumping investigation into chloroform produced in the U.S., Europe, India, and South Korea. The ministry will determine whether it should continue to collect dumping duties on chloroform from these countries. It collected them for five years until the end of last month.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hakutsuru Sake Brewing, and Kansai Chemical Engineering have built a demonstration plant in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, that makes ethanol from cellulosic sources such as rice and wheat straw. The plant employs a technology combining hydrothermal treatment and enzymatic saccharification.

Ineos ChloroVinyls will invest tens of millions of dollars over the next five years in its chloro­methanes operations in Cheshire, England. The firm says the funding will be used to upgrade its aging site.

LyondellBasell Industries will shut down a polypropylene line in Wesseling, Germany, by the end of this year. The company says the 110,000-metric-ton-per-year unit is one of its smallest and oldest.

Solvay has started making monofluoroethylene carbonate (F1EC) at its site in Onsan, South Korea. F1EC is an electrolyte additive intended to improve safety, capacity, and life of lithium-ion batteries.

Forma Therapeutics, a biotech firm started earlier this year by Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University professors, has secured additional funding from big pharma investors. Lilly Ventures led the $25.5 million financing round, with input from existing investors Novartis Option Fund and Bio*One Capital, in Singapore. Cubist Pharmaceuticals is a new investor in Forma.

MedImmune, the biologics business of AstraZeneca, will acquire exclusive rights to Trellis Biosciences’ antibody directed against the res­piratory syncytial virus. MedImmune will make an undisclosed up-front payment to Trellis, plus development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments potentially totaling $338 million.

Jubilant Organosys and Eli Lilly & Co. have extended a research collaboration, started in 2005, for another five years. Jubilant scores research funding and discovery and development milestones, and Lilly owns any compounds found during the partnership. The companies say they have already identified promising preclinical drug candidates.

iThemba Pharmaceuticals, in South Africa, and Netherlands-based Pyxis Discovery will jointly market their drug discovery services. Pyxis has computational chemistry and lead discovery expertise that feeds into iThemba’s medicinal and synthetic chemistry capabilities. The companies will also offer virtual libraries that can be exclusively synthesized for clients.

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