Business Roundup | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 44 | p. 21 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 31, 2011

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Cytec Industries will spend $125 million to double capacity for phosphine at its site in Welland, Ontario, by 2014. Cytec says demand for phosphine and phosphine derivatives is expanding by 10 to 15% per year. The products are used in light-emitting diodes, agricultural fumigation, mineral processing, and solvent extraction.

FMC has agreed to acquire South Pole Biogroup, a Chile-based natural color and nutrition ingredients manufacturer. FMC says the purchase will expand the scope of its biopolymers business, which sells naturally derived ingredients for food and pharmaceuticals.

Amyris has signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazil’s ETH Bioenergia for the production of the biobased chemical farnesene. The venture will have access to 2 million metric tons of sugarcane crush per year from one of ETH’s Brazilian mills. ETH will control the venture; Amyris will market the product.

American Vanguard subsidiary Amvac Chemical has purchased the cotton defoliant tribufos, sold as Def, from Bayer CropScience. Cotton growers use the defoliant to remove leaves surrounding the cotton boll.

Lonza has entered an agreement with Genmab under which it will manufacture the Danish company’s HuMax-TF, an antibody-drug conjugate being developed for cancer. Lonza will make the antibody in Slough, England, and conjugate it to a cytotoxic drug in Visp, Switzerland.

ZeaChem, a biomass-based fuels and chemicals firm, has raised $19 million in a third round of venture financing. ZeaChem, which makes acetic acid from cellulose derived from hybrid poplar trees, will start up a 250,000-gal-per-year plant this year. It also plans to develop commercial-scale biorefineries.

Merck Serono has returned rights to safinamide to Italy’s Newron Pharmaceuticals, effective April 2012. Merck says it is ending the development deal, at a cost of about $55 million, because the potential of the Parkinson’s disease drug is more limited than it originally anticipated.

Life Technologies has signed an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to develop a diagnostic that will be used as a companion test with a GSK cancer immunotherapy candidate. Life Technologies will develop the diagnostic using its Taqman Array Card technology for assaying panels of genes.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals will acquire Adolor for about $190 million in cash. Cubist says Adolor’s Entereg therapy for accelerating recovery after bowel surgery will complement its portfolio of drugs for acute care and hospital needs.

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