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Business Roundup

November 7, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 45

Kuraray will spend about $50 million to expand its ethylene vinyl alcohol resin plant in Pasadena, Texas. To be completed by January 2014, the project will expand capacity for the resin, known for its gas barrier properties, by about one-third to 47,000 metric tons per year.

Cabot Corp. has licensed graphene technology from XG Sciences. Boston-based Cabot says it will use its expertise in carbon black production, surface treatment, and materials science to further develop XG’s graphene nanoplatelet technology.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is establishing a venture capital arm. The new unit will initially specialize in advanced materials, alternative feedstocks for chemicals, alternative energy, and cleantech.

Eastman Chemical has acquired TetraVitae Bioscience, a Chicago-based firm that is developing renewable chemicals, including butanol and acetone. Eastman says it will use TetraVitae’s biocatalysis technology to develop a range of biobased processes.

Merck KGaA of Germany has initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against the South Korean pigment producer CQV and its distributor Sungmin Chemicals. In the suit, filed in Seoul, Merck alleges that the companies have infringed Merck’s patent on pigments with goldlike effects.

Asahi Kasei will spend $38 million to build a drug R&D center in Shizuoka, Japan. The facility will provide 70,000 sq ft of new research space. Asahi says it is aiming to develop drugs for unmet medical needs.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline have formed a collaboration focused on applying Alnylam’s VaxiRNA technology for enhanced production of viruses to certain GSK drugs, including influenza vaccines. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Affymetrix will provide technology to help the Broad Institute chart genomic changes in more than 20 cancers through the processing of 13,500 samples. The institute is participating in the Cancer Genome Atlas program, which has received $375 million in NIH funding over five years.

The Eli Lilly & Co. Foundation has committed $30 million in funding to further support the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, which is focused on therapies for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.



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