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Business Roundup

October 25, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 43

Toyota Tsusho, a Japanese trading firm, and China Man-Made Fiber will establish a joint venture, Greencol Taiwan, to make ethylene glycol from ethanol procured from Brazil. Toyota Tsusho will contract another firm to use the ethylene glycol to produce polyethylene terephthalate. By the end of next year, Toyota Tsusho hopes to have a supply of 200,000 metric tons of bioderived PET to sell.

Rhodia will move an isobornyl cyclohexanol (IBCH) plant from Wuxi, China, to its site in Zhenjiang, China, where it makes the raw material guaiacol. IBCH helps create the sandalwood note in fragrances. The move, which will also increase capacity, will be completed next year.

BASF plans to build an antioxidants blending plant in Bahrain. Earlier this year, the German firm canceled plans to build a Middle Eastern blending plant with Saudi Arabia's Astra Polymer. BASF says it will continue an existing toll arrangement with Astra.

Avantium is building a pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, to demonstrate its technology to make furanic chemical building blocks from sugar. The company expects to complete the plant, which will make several tons of the building blocks annually, next year.

1366 Technologies, a solar-materials start-up, has raised $20 million in a second round of venture capital funding. The company's technology creates 156-mm multicrystalline wafers from molten silicon, a process that it claims uses 50% less silicon.

W.R. Grace will increase production of silica gel at its facilities in Kuantan, Malaysia, and Sorocaba, Brazil, because of growth in the global renewable fuels industry. Silica gel is used to remove contaminants from natural oil feedstocks.

Solvay is investing $17 million in the Korea Advanced Materials Fund, a venture capital fund that will focus on renewable energy, printed electronics, and green chemistry. Other partners, including Korea Venture Investment and AJU IB Investment, are putting up $9 million. AJU IB will also manage the fund.

Novartis will collaborate in drug discovery with pharmaceutical industry conglomerate ChemRar and ChemDiv's subsidiary Chemical Diversity Research Institute, both based in Moscow. The initial multitarget agreement will last three years and may result in milestone payments to CDRI.

Reaxa, itself a catalyst technology spin-out of Avecia Pharmaceuticals, will spin off a new firm, ADC Biotechnology. Based at the Technium OpTIC incubator in St. Asaph, Wales, ADC will apply solid polymer bead technology for antibody drug purification.

Bristol-Myers Squibb will extend its drug development and formulation agreement with Bend Research by three years. Bend will manufacture drug products for clinical trials at its facilities. As part of the collaboration, Bend Research is making its proprietary spray-dried dispersion (SDD) technology available to BMS.



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