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Business Roundup

September 27, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 39

Iogen has hired Goldman Sachs to help it explore strategic alternatives. Iogen makes industrial enzymes and owns half of Iogen Energy, a joint venture with Shell that makes ethanol from wheat straw at a demonstration plant in Ottawa.

Sumitomo has reached an agreement to acquire Presperse, a maker of cosmetic ingredients. Sumitomo says the Somerset, N.J.-based firm will tap into its new parent’s global marketing reach and pharmaceutical know-how.

Dow AgroSciences and Wageningen University in the Netherlands will study how zinc-finger nuclease technology can improve the starch quality of potatoes. Dow licenses the gene-editing technology under the Exzact name for agricultural ­applications.

Evonik Industries says it will build a methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant by 2014 that will employ its new Aveneer technology. The location will be decided next year. Aveneer uses the conventional MMA starting materials of ammonia, methane, acetone, and methanol but doesn’t consume sulfuric acid or produce sulfate by-products.

La Seda de Barcelona has sold a majority stake in its Portuguese purified terephthalic acid project to three Portuguese investment funds. La Seda will retain a 41% interest in the venture. The investment funds will inject $127 million into the project, which is expected to cost about $560 million.

Wacker Chemie will receive $128 million in aid from the German government to help it build a $1 billion solar polysilicon plant in Nünchritz, in eastern Germany. The European Commission approved the large grant, saying it conforms to guidelines for aid to regions with low standards of living.

Aquapharm Discovery and Scotland’s Dundee University will research and develop Alzheimer’s drugs that are based on marine natural products. Aquapharm says the partners will focus on O-GlcNAcase, an enzyme that has been difficult to target with conventional small molecules.

Mitsui & Co. has acquired a 5% stake in Arch Pharmalabs, an Indian pharmaceutical chemical producer, for about $13 million. Mitsui says the purchase will strengthen its existing business in supplying ingredients to the pharmaceutical industry.

Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary has licensed technology from Anchor Therapeutics based on lipidated proteins called pepducins. Under a deal that could be worth up to $480 million for Anchor, the two firms will develop drug candidates for oncology and metabolic disorders.



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