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Business Roundup

August 15, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 33

Dow Chemical will expand its capacity to make methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene-based plastic additives by 10,000 metric tons per year at its Grangemouth, Scotland, facility. The firm expects to complete the expansion by the end of this year.

Solazyme and Bunge plan to form a joint venture to make 100,000 metric tons per year of triglyceride oils at a Bunge sugarcane mill in Brazil. The plant, which will use Solazyme’s sugar-to-oil technology, is slated to start up in 2013.

The European Commission has cleared Belgium-based Solvay’s acquisition of French specialty chemical maker Rhodia. The two plan to complete the transaction on Aug. 24.

Lonza will spend about $8 million to build a plant that will formulate one of its products, the molluscicide metaldehyde, into ready-made slug pellets as an active ingredient. The project, at Lonza’s site in Visp, Switzerland, is set for completion in the second half of 2012.

AstraZeneca has renewed for another seven years a supply agreement with Swiss contract manufacturer Bachem for the peptide active ingredient goserelin. Bachem has been supplying goserelin, which AstraZeneca markets as prostate cancer treatment Zoladex, for more than 20 years.

Servier and Intercept Pharmaceuticals have teamed up to discover type 2 diabetes treatments. Intercept could reap as much as $163 million in research funding and milestone payments. The companies will tap into Intercept’s bile acid analog chemistry expertise to find small molecules that modulate TGR5, a G-protein-coupled receptor that is regulated by bile acids, which in turn regulate overall energy metabolism.

VWR, a marketer of laboratory supplies and services, has acquired LabPartner, a Shanghai-based company in the same line of business. LabPartner represents major lab supply manufacturers, including Avantor and Thermo Fisher Scientific, in China.

Biotica has regained full rights to its rapamycin analog program from Pfizer. The program includes clinical candidates for the treatment of neuro-inflammatory and other diseases. Pfizer says it is returning the development program to Biotica as part of a portfolio review process.

Merck & Co. says the Department of Justice has subpoenaed information related to the company’s marketing and selling of its cancer drugs Temodar, PegIntron, and Intron A from Jan. 1, 2004, to the present. Merck says it is cooperating with the investigation.



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