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Business Roundup

March 22, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 12

Vertellus Specialties will "significantly" expand capacity for its Vitride-brand reducing agent in Zeeland, Mich. The firm says the agent, sodium dihydrobis(2-methoxyethoxy)aluminate, is chemically equivalent to lithium aluminum hydride but is not pyrophoric under ambient conditions.

Former DuPont employee Michael Mitchell was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. federal court to theft of trade secrets. Mitchell was charged with giving South Korea's Kolon Industries stolen information on DuPont aramid fibers. Last year, DuPont filed a trade secrets theft suit against Kolon (C&EN, Feb. 9, 2009, page 17).

Bayer MaterialScience will work with Case Western Reserve University and Ohio-based Molded Fiber Glass to test wind-turbine blades built with polyurethane composites and carbon nanotubes. The project is funded in part by a $750,000 grant Bayer received from the Department of Energy in July 2009.

Natureworks, the Cargill unit that makes polylactide polymer, will begin to market polymer-grade lactide, the cyclic diester of lactic acid, to specialty polymer producers. The company plans to make up to 20,000 metric tons per year of lactide available.

Brenntag, a German chemical distributor, plans to raise up to $1.05 billion in an initial public offering later this month. The company, controlled by the private equity firm BC Partners, anticipates that as much as 30% of its equity will trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer have entered an siRNA drug delivery pact. Tekmira will apply its stable nucleic acid-lipid particle technology to siRNA particles provided by Pfizer, which will then evaluate the formulations in preclinical models.

AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with Torrent Pharmaceuticals under which the Indian firm will supply AstraZeneca with a portfolio of generic medicines. The partners will start with 18 products. AstraZeneca intends to brand and market them in emerging markets.

OSI Pharmaceuticals' board of directors has rejected an unsolicited $3.5 billion takeover bid by Astellas, a Japanese drug firm. Astellas says that it "continues to firmly believe in its proposed transaction" and that it will take its offer directly to OSI stockholders.



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