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Business Roundup

January 18, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 3

Lanzhou Petrochemical suffered an explosion at its facility in the northwest Chinese province of Gansu, killing six. The unit, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Petroleum, said in a statement that static electricity may have ignited flammable gas that had leaked from a tank.

Ferro Electronic Materials has received a $1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development to engineer a new sealing system for thin-film solar cells. The company will work with the Edison Welding Institute, StrateNexus Technologies, and Ohio State University to develop a vitreous frit system that can hermetically seal the solar cells.

DuPont and BASF have settled a patent infringement dispute that started in June 2009 when they sued each other over biotechnology traits, including ones providing tolerance to herbicides that inhibit the plant enzyme acetolactate synthase. The two firms are cross-licensing patents and dismissing the claims.

Minerals Technologies has signed a long-term agreement to supply up to 70,000 tons per year of precipitated calcium carbonate for use in papermaking at NewPage’s Duluth, Minn., paper mill. Minerals Technologies will build a new PCC plant in nearby Superior to supply NewPage.

Air Liquide and the oil company Total have inaugurated a joint carbon capture and storage project in Lacq, France. Air Liquide is supplying technology that replaces boiler air with pure oxygen to concentrate CO2 in the fumes. The CO2 is then transported to the Rousse geological storage site and injected into a 4,500-meter-deep former natural gas reservoir.

DSM has made an equity investment in Bioprocess Control, a Swedish biogas processes services provider. DSM’s Biogas unit will also cooperate with Bioprocess Control to improve the performance of biogas plants.

MannKind Corp. has been told by FDA that a review of the company’s rapid-acting inhaled insulin therapy Afrezza has been delayed. The agency says it hasn’t completed the inspection of MannKind’s insulin supplier, Organon, a subsidiary of Merck & Co.

Takasago Fine Chemicals has extended an agreement that gives Merck & Co. broader access to Takasago’s ligands and catalysts. Merck and Takasago scientists recently published a paper describing an efficient approach for synthesizing unprotected ß-amino amides (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 11316).

Life Technologies will acquire AcroMetrix, a Benicia, Calif.-based provider of molecular and serological diagnostic quality-control products. The products are designed for use in clinical laboratories, blood screening centers, and in vitro diagnostic manufacturing.

Pharmaron Holdings, in Irvine, Calif., has acquired Bridge Laboratories’ contract services operation in Beijing for an undisclosed sum, adding Good Laboratory Practice-compliant toxicology services to its contract services in China. Bridge’s U.S. operations in Gaithersburg, Md., were acquired last month in a management buyout that formed Avanza Laboratories.



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