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Business Roundup

August 23, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 34

SGL Group plans to invest about $100 million over the next three years to triple annual capacity of isostatic graphite to 15,000 metric tons. The new capacity will support increasing demand from solar energy, light-emitting diode, and semiconductor customers.

Mitsui AgriScience International has agreed to acquire AgriGuard Holdings, a Dublin-based maker of off-patent plant protection products focused on the European arable crop sector. Mitsui says the acquisition will help it meet its “growth aspirations” in the region.

DuPont and Chenguang Chemical Research Institute, a subsidiary of China National Chemical, intend to form a joint venture to make and market fluoroelastomer gums and precompounds. The companies plan to open a precompounding plant in Shanghai in the second half of 2011.

Americas Styrenics, a joint venture between Chevron Phillips Chemical and the former Dow Chemical styrenic polymers unit Styron, is indefinitely idling a 190,000-metric-ton-per-year polystyrene plant in Guarujá, Brazil, later this month. A spokeswoman for Styron, which was recently acquired by Bain Capital, says the plant is being taken off-line because of market conditions.

Salicylates & Chemicals, based in Hyderabad, India, plans to nearly triple production of sunscreens for personal care products to 4,000 metric tons per year. The $6 million expansion will include production of UV absorbers such as octyl methoxy cinnamate, octocrylene, and homosalate and should be in place by the first quarter of 2011.

Evonik will build a new plant in China to produce triacetonamine derivatives used as stabilizers in plastics that are exposed to intense light radiation. Evonik did not say where the new plant will be built, but the firm expects it to come on-line in 2011.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical has acquired ZyStor Therapeutics for $22 million up front and a possible $93 million in future milestone payments. Privately held ZyStor develops protein-based enzyme replacement therapies for treating lysosomal storage disorders. Its lead candidate against Pompe disease is scheduled to start clinical trials in early 2011.

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, Africa’s largest drug firm, has agreed to buy the generic pharmaceuticals division of Australia’s Sigma Pharmaceuticals for $806 million. The Johannesburg-based Aspen offered $1.2 billion earlier this year to purchase all of Sigma, including its wholesale drug business (C&EN, May 31, page 33).

Sigma-Aldrich has granted California Institute of Technology spin-off Allozyne a license to use certain cycloaddition chemistry for creating protein therapeutics and diagnostics. Allozyne is targeting site-specific conjugation of biomolecules containing nonnatural amino acids. It also recently licensed cycloaddition click chemistry from Scripps Research Institute.



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