Business Roundup | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 11 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 12, 2012

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Evonik Industries has agreed to sell its colorants business to Arsenal Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. The business, which makes colorants for decorative coatings, had sales of about $170 million last year, Evonik says, about half of which came from the U.S.

Asahi Kasei will build an 11,000-metric-ton-per-year acetonitrile facility at the site of its Tong Suh Petrochemical subsidiary in Ulsan, South Korea. The facility will get its feedstock from an acrylonitrile plant that Asahi is also building at the site.

Takasago will spend $10 million to build a manufacturing and R&D facility in Chennai, in southern India, to support its flavor and fragrance business. The Japanese company says that the Indian markets for beverages, confections, fragrances, cosmetics, and toiletries are growing rapidly.

FMC and Japan’s Kumiai Chemical have agreed to evaluate a new herbicide that they say promises to address emerging herbicide-resistance problems that farmers are experiencing globally. The not yet publicly disclosed chemistry was discovered in the labs of Kumiai and partner firm Ihara ­Chemical.

ZeaChem, a cellulosic chemicals and ethanol firm, has received an undisclosed equity investment from Japanese conglomerate Itochu aimed at expanding ZeaChem’s technology globally. Itochu’s chemicals arm produces acetic acid and ethyl acetate, which are the first two products being developed at ZeaChem’s biorefinery in Boardman, Ore.

GE Healthcare has reached an agreement to acquire Xcellerex, a producer of single-use bioreactors for pharmaceutical makers. GE acquired a similar company, Wave Biotech, in 2007.

Merck & Co. says FDA has requested more data on its New Drug Application for a combination cholesterol therapy consisting of ezetimibe and atorvastatin, the generic active ingredient in Pfizer’s Lipitor. Merck says data it expects to have available later this year will be submitted to the agency.

Fast Forward, a National Multiple Sclerosis Society subsidiary that supports early drug development research, will fund the preclinical advancement of Concert Pharmaceuticals’ C-21191, a deuterium-modified subtype-selective GABAA modulator targeting the treatment of pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Mersana Therapeutics and Endo Pharmaceuticals have agreed to codevelop antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) based on Mersana’s Fleximer polymer technology and a range of customizable linker chemistries. Endo will pay an undisclosed up-front fee to Mersana for the right to use Fleximer in developing therapeutic candidates against a single cancer target. Ultimately, Mersana is eligible to receive more than $270 million in milestone payments as well as royalties.

Array BioPharma has enlisted Foundation Medicine to use its genome-sequencing technology and analytical capabilities to help identify the patients most likely to benefit from Array’s targeted cancer drugs. Cambridge, Mass.-based Foundation Medicine develops cancer genomics tests to enable a patient’s tumor to be matched with the appropriate medicines.

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