Issue Date: April 18, 2011
Braskem has started construction on a 200,000-metric-ton-per-year polyvinyl chloride plant in the northeastern Brazilian state of Alagoas. The project will cost $630 million, the firm’s largest-ever single investment, and will be completed in the first half of next year.
Arkema plans to switch from mercury cell chlorine production at its Jarrie, France, plant to the membrane cell process. The effort, which may be eligible for a government subsidy, is part of a site risk reduction plan the firm designed in consultation with local authorities.
Makhteshim Agan Group, an Israeli producer of generic crop protection products, will acquire DuPont’s diuron herbicides business, including the Direx and Karmex brands. Diuron is a urea herbicide used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds.
LDK Solar, a Chinese maker of multicrystalline solar wafers and photovoltaics, will spend $35 million to build a silane gas plant in Xinyu City, Jiangxi province. The facility will supply up to 2,000 metric tons of gas annually to meet demand from the semiconductor, solar, and flat-panel display industries.
PerkinElmer has launched an equipment grant program for scientists pursuing improvements to environmental and human health. The program, to run through the end of the year, will award up to $1 million worth of equipment grants to researchers who use LC/MS.
AMRI has entered a long-term supply agreement with Parnell Manufacturing, an Australian veterinary products firm. Under the deal, AMRI’s Albany, N.Y., facility will provide process development and manufacturing for a veterinary active ingredient that Parnell plans to launch in the U.S.
Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma has purchased an option to license Japanese rights to BB1608, a small-molecule drug from Boston Biomedical that targets cancer stem cells. Boston Biomedical will receive a $15 million upfront payment and could get another $155 million in milestones if Dainippon exercises the option.
Pfizer and Zacharon Pharmaceuticals are joining to develop drugs for orphan diseases. The deal, which is potentially worth $210 million to Zacharon, involves Zacharon technology for developing small-molecule drugs that target specific carbohydrate polymers or glycans.
Takeda Pharmaceutical will pay Heptares Therapeutics $3 million in up-front fees and take a $4.5 million equity stake in the biotech firm as part of a two-year drug discovery collaboration focused on a G-protein-coupled receptor relevant in central nervous system disorders. Heptares will engineer stabilized forms of the GPCR and then find compounds that interact with it.
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