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Business Roundup

July 19, 2010 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 88, ISSUE 29

Ashland and Süd-Chemie have agreed to expand their European metal foundry chemicals joint venture into a global joint venture. The expanded venture, to be called ASK Chemicals, was first proposed in mid-2008. It will employ about 1,300 people and have sales of roughly $600 million this year.

Mitsubishi Rayon has resumed building a 2,700-metric-ton-per-year carbon fiber plant in southern Japan. The company halted construction in March 2009 in response to the economic downturn. The unit will start operating next spring.

Air Liquide has acquired H-Plus SGS, a producer of carbon monoxide and hydrogen based in Yeosu, South Korea. With its production capacity of 60,000 m3/hour, H-Plus expands Air Liquide’s Korean CO/H2 business by 30%.

Hexion Specialty Chemicals and Brüggemann Chemical have joined to enhance monomer conversion in coating polymers containing Hexion’s VeoVa vinyl ester monomer. Brüggemann’s sulfur-based reducing agent can lower monomer levels to 200 ppm from the 2,000 ppm achieved with traditional reducing agents, the partners say.

Evonik Industries has acquired Tessenderlo’s customer list for pharmaceutical-grade glycine. Tessenderlo said last year that it would stop making the amino acid in Belgium by the end of 2010 because of Chinese competition. Evonik manufactures glycine in Wuming, China.

Vorbeck Materials will work with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to develop lithium-ion battery electrodes that use Vorbeck’s Vor-x graph­ene. The new material could enable electronics to recharge in minutes rather than hours, the partners say.

Prosonix and Trimel Biopharma have entered a codevelopment and licensing agreement. They will combine Prosonix’ particle-engineering technology with Trimel’s disposable dry-powder inhaler device for the pulmonary delivery of pharmaceuticals.

Lonza has agreed to produce the antibody-based lupus drug Benlysta for Human Genome Sciences. HGS says it has enough manufacturing capacity of its own to supply the drug for the first two or three years after approval but that it will eventually need additional commercial quantities.

Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, a drug company trade association, has named John J. Castellani as CEO, effective on Sept. 1. Castellani most recently headed the Business Roundtable, a CEO group. He will replace Billy Tauzin, the former congressman who has led PhRMA since 2005.



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