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Business Roundup

March 19, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 12

Lanxess’ Rhein Chem­ie rubber chemicals unit has purchased Tire Curing Bladders, which makes bladders for the tire industry. TCB has more than 400,000 units of annual capacity and generated $21 million in sales in 2011.

HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals has scored $13 million through an extension of its Series B financing. The cash will allow HemaQuest to complete a Phase IIb trial of HQK-1001, a small molecule for the treatment of sickle-cell disease. Investors include Aberdare Ventures, De Novo Ventures, Forward Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, and Lilly Ventures.

BASF will expand capacity for the nylon precursor cyclohexane at its Antwerp, Belgium, site by 50,000 metric tons per year. To cost about $13 million and be completed by the end of 2014, the project will increase backward integration of its nylon business, BASF says.

Kuraray will spend $26 million to expand its polyvinyl butyral film manufacturing facilities in Troisdorf, Germany, and will consider producing the material in India. PVB film is used in making laminated safety glass for cars and buildings.

BASF has agreed to sell its offset printing inks business, based in Maastricht, the Netherlands, to the Swiss private equity firm Quantum Kapital. BASF acquired the unit, which has annual sales of about $80 million, when it purchased Ciba in 2009.

Dow Chemical is expanding capacity at its butyl glycol ether plant in Seadrift, Texas. Under the plan, Dow’s capacity for its Butyl Cellosolve and Butyl Carbitol oxygenated solvents will increase by 15% later this year.

Momentive Specialty Chemicals is closing its solid epoxy resins plant in Wesseling, Germany, by October. The company says the move will help it match its asset base with European demand. LyondellBasell, which operates the plant under contract, is closing two small polypropylene units in Wesseling this year.

Immunovaccine and Weill Cornell Medical College will work together to develop a vaccine to treat cocaine addiction. Cornell’s cocaine antigen will be combined with Immunovaccine’s adjuvant platform to improve the immune response, which prevents cocaine molecules from reaching the brain.

DSM Pharmaceutical Productshas signed a new contract to manufacture talactoferrin in Capua, Italy, for the biotech firm Agennix. Agennix is developing the compound, a recombinant form of the human protein lactoferrin, as a non-small-cell lung cancer treatment. It is currently in Phase III clinical trials.

GlaxoSmithKline says it has reached an agreement to sell over-the-counter drug brands marketed in Europe to Omega Pharma for $614 million. The brands include Lactacyd, Abtei, Solpadeine, Zantac, Nytol, and Beconase. As part of the agreement, Omega will acquire the drug firm’s Herrenberg, Germany, manufacturing site.



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