Issue Date: December 21, 2009
RTI International Metals has idled construction of a $300 million titanium sponge plant in Hamilton, Miss. A titanium tetrachloride supply deal with bankrupt Tronox is tied up in court. Two Japanese firms, Toho Titanium and Osaka Titanium Technologies, will instead supply the raw material RTI needs for titanium metal production.
Huntsman Corp. and Saudi Arabia’s Zamil Group are exploring the construction of a plant making morpholine and Diglycolamine Agent, a refinery gas treatment agent, in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Huntsman already makes the products in Port Neches, Texas, and Llanelli, Wales.
Sumitomo Chemical has launched a joint venture in Dalian, China, to produce a feed additive and a plastic film used for covering greenhouses. The venture, owned 80% by Sumitomo and 20% by the Chinese firm Dalian Jingang, will build a 20,000-metric-ton-per-year methionine plant and a 4,000-metric-ton plastic film facility.
Chemtura says it now expects to emerge from bankruptcy reorganization in the summer of 2010 with a plan that will convert debt to equity. The firm originally planned to emerge in March 2010, but says it needs time to deal with more than 14,000 claims.
Borealis, the European polyolefins maker, is investing $110 million in a semicommercial catalyst plant in Linz, Austria. The company recently opened a $70 million innovation headquarters there.
Abbott Laboratories has agreed to acquire Starlims Technologies for about $123 million in cash. Israel-based Starlims provides laboratory information management systems, including Web-based applications for storing, retrieving, and analyzing data.
Unitaid hopes to launch a patent pool for AIDS medicines next year aimed at facilitating the development of fixed-dose combination drugs. By making new medicines available at lower prices in low- and middle-income countries, Unitaid, a drug purchasing organization backed by France and Brazil, expects to generate savings of more than $1 billion a year.
Lonza will work with Femta Pharmaceuticals to develop a manufacturing process for FM101, a monoclonal antibody expected to soon enter clinical development for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Femta will have access to Lonza’s glutamine synthetase gene expression technology, along with purification and process development support.
ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals has licensed to Hospira the development and commercialization rights for omacetaxine mepesuccinate, a cytotoxic treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia. Hospira obtains rights in Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Africa, paying $16 million to ChemGenex up front and an additional $107 million in potential milestone payments.
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