Issue Date: May 7, 2012
BASF will relocate production of its Kolliphor- brand vitamin E polyethylene glycol succinate from Kankakee, Ill., to Minden, Germany. The firm says the Minden site’s quality management standards will allow it to offer a pharmaceutical grade of the water-soluble vitamin E.
Eastman Chemical has signed a contract to buy propylene from a planned U.S. propane dehydrogenation plant. Company officials disclosed the contract in a conference call with analysts, although they wouldn’t name the other party. Eastman, which uses propylene as an oxo chemicals raw material, is also mulling an olefin metathesis unit.
Dow Chemical and the University of Minnesota are launching a pilot program to improve safety awareness and practices in the school’s departments of chemistry and chemical engineering and materials science. The university is one of 11 institutions receiving funding as part of a $250 million program Dow announced in October 2011.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals of Ireland will acquire EUSA Pharma for $650 million in cash and a potential $50 million in milestone payments. EUSA, based in the U.S. and the U.K., has a portfolio of 10 oncology-related products; its leading product, the leukemia treatment Erwinaze, won FDA approval last November.
Sigma-Aldrich has licensed two membrane scaffold proteins from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The proteins are used in Nanodisc technology, which was developed by Illinois biochemistry professor Stephen G. Sligar to make insoluble biological materials soluble.
AstraZeneca will work with Axerion Therapeutics on an Alzheimer’s disease treatment targeting the binding of amyloid-β oligomers to prion proteins. The pact is the first established by AstraZeneca’s new virtual neurosciences unit, which focuses on partnerships with academia and industry.
Astellas Pharma and Drais Pharmaceuticals are launching a virtual company, Telsar Pharma, to develop ASP3291, an Astellas compound now in Phase II clinical development to treat ulcerative colitis. Astellas’ venture capital arm and two U.S. venture capital firms will invest $14 million in Telsar.
Tolero Pharmaceuticals will pay up to $130 million in up-front and milestone payments for access to MannKind’s Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors, which are in development for cancer and inflammatory diseases. MannKind retains an option to buy back the rights to the BTK program after Phase I studies are conducted.
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