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Business Roundup

March 29, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 13

Evonik Industries plans to combine its German real estate activities with those of local firm THS and look for collaborations for its energy business. The moves are part of Evonik’s previously announced plan to focus on specialty chemicals.

DuPont plans to invest $40 million in new labs at its Pioneer Hi-Bred plant genetics research complex in Johnston, Iowa. To be completed by early 2012, the facilities will include space for 400 new researchers, DuPont says.

BASF has joined the Sustainability Consortium, a group dedicated to helping policymakers understand ways of meeting environmental, economic, and social objectives. Other members of the consortium, run by sustainability centers at Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, include Walmart, Procter & Gamble, and Hewlett-Packard.

PPG Industries says it has eliminated the use of asbestos diaphragms at its Lake Charles, La., chlor-alkali plant. The company has converted to its own Tephram diaphragms, which are made of polytetrafluoroethylene microfibrils and fibers.

3M and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have formed a series of cooperative R&D agreements in the areas of thin-film photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, and biofuels. The partners will accelerate testing of 3M designs and will scale up successful prototype technologies.

Chiral Quest has licensed asymmetric ketone hydrogenation technology developed by Japanese academics Ryoji Noyori and Takao Ikariya. The firm says it will use the technology to make chiral alcohols in high-pressure hydrogenation suites at its site in Suzhou, China.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has opened a plant in Mexico that makes alcohols used in the PEG­ylation of biotech drugs, peptides, and small-molecule pharmaceuticals. The plant’s output will go to a Dr. Reddy’s facility in Mirfield, England, where the alcohols will be coupled with drugs to improve solubility or extend their circulating life in the body.

Pfizer and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will fund a collaboration to evaluate whether Pfizer compounds can promote the replication and regeneration of insulin-producing cells in people with type 1 diabetes. Researchers from the Hadassah Medical Organization and Hebrew University of Jerusalem will lead the program.

GTx and Ipsen have expanded their development pact for toremifene, a treatment for men with prostate cancer. Paris-based Ipsen will pay up to $57 million in milestones as a second Phase III trial for toremifene progresses, in exchange for shared marketing rights for the drug in the U.S.



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