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Business

Business Roundup

October 18, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 42

Solvay plans to spend about $29 million building a new plastics compounding plant at its facility in Changshu, China. By 2012, the company plans to be compounding the chemical- and heat-resistant polymer polyphthalamide and the ultrastiff plastic polyarylamide.

Air Liquide will build an $84 million air separation facility in Kstovo, Russia, to supply oxygen and nitrogen for a new RusVinyl polyvinyl chloride plant. RusVinyl is a joint venture between Russia’s Sibur and Belgian PVC maker Solvin. The Air Liquide facility is scheduled to open at the end of 2012.

Univar will acquire rival chemical distributor Basic Chemical Solutions for an undisclosed sum. U.S.-based Basic Chemical distributes a select list of inorganic commodity chemicals. It had sales in 2009 of $889 million.

DSM and Brain, a Germany industrial biotechnology firm, are cooperating on the biotech production of water-soluble vitamins. The two firms are already working together on enzyme systems for specialty chemical production.

BASF has discontinued production of Envirocare, an additive that enhances the degradation of polyethylene films used in agriculture. BASF, which obtained the additive with its purchase of Ciba, says it will focus instead on its Ecoflex and Ecovio biodegradable plastics.

Wacker Chemie is acquiring the Lucky Silicone construction sealants line from a Henkel subsidiary in South Korea. Wacker gets rights to the silicone brand, which had sales last year of about $28 million, and a plant in Jincheon, South Korea, that has about 40 employees.

MingSight Pharmaceuticals has licensed two preclinical-stage compounds from Pfizer. The San Diego-based firm says it will pay Pfizer an up-front fee and, potentially, milestone payments. Both compounds are intended for eye diseases, MingSight’s area of expertise.

Halozyme Therapeutics will reduce its workforce by about 25% to focus on key drug development programs. The San Diego-based firm, which develops enzymes that affect the body’s extracellular matrix, has about 140 employees, most of whom are involved in R&D.

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