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Business Roundup

by Ann M. Thayer
May 17, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 20

Lonza has picked its site in Nansha, China, for a $45 million vitamin B-3 plant. In 2008, the firm said it would build the 15,000-metric-ton-per-year facility at one of three sites: Nansha; Guangzhou, China; or Visp, Switzerland.

Nitto Denko and Mitsubishi Rayon have abandoned plans to merge their water treatment businesses. The two Japanese firms will dissolve a U.S.-based subsidiary, Kathyd Technology, that they had formed in 2007 to develop microfilter membranes for water desalination and wastewater treatment.

Air Liquide and Sixtron Advanced Materials have formed a partnership to promote Sixtron coating materials that improve the performance of crystalline silicon solar cells. Sixtron says it can replace anti­reflective coatings based on dangerous silane gas with ones based on its Silexium precursor 

Evotec has entered a multiyear drug discovery alliance with Genentech aimed at small-molecule therapeutics. The German firm says it will conduct assay development, high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, and structural biology on behalf of Genentech.

Novozymes, a Danish enzyme company, will collaborate with Dutch yeast developer and ethanol producer Nedalco to establish a new process to efficiently ferment C5 and C6 sugars derived from cellulose. The companies say fermenting the C5 sugars xylose and arabinose is a difficult but necessary step in optimizing cellulosic ethanol yields.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has expanded its small interfering RNA research relationship with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals to include target validation using the biotech firm’s stable nucleic acid-lipid particle (SNALP) delivery technology. Tekmira will receive $3 million up front and will supply batches of SNALPs over the course of the four-year pact.

Pfizer will acquire 
terguride, a small-molecule drug being developed by the German firm Ergonex Pharma for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Pfizer will complete an ongoing Phase II trial. Ergonex will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties on sales.



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