Issue Date: January 9, 2012
OM Group has acquired Rahu Catalytics from Unilever Ventures & Management. Based in the U.K., Rahu develops iron ligand-based catalysts, activators, and accelerants used to produce coatings, composites, and inks. It licensed the technology to OM in 2009.
Eastman Chemical and joint-venture partner China National Tobacco have broken ground on a 30,000-metric-ton-per-year acetate cigarette filter fiber plant in Heifei, China. The venture, Eastman Shuangwei Fibers, was formed early last year and expects to start up its plant in mid-2013.
LDK Solar, a Chinese solar firm, plans to buy its German competitor Sunways for about $31 million. Germany has been a leading market for solar installations, but local manufacturers have struggled to remain profitable in the face of Chinese competition.
Indorama Ventures, a Thai producer of polyester fiber and resin, has agreed to acquire the U.S. polyolefin fibers company FiberVisions. Once part of the chemical maker Hercules, FiberVisions is now owned by the private equity firm Snow Phipps.
Church & Dwight is exploring options for its Brazilian specialty chemical business, which has annual sales of about $40 million and markets sodium bicarbonate, dairy cow rumen buffer, and other chemicals. The company says it anticipates limited future profitability for the business.
OPKO Health has agreed to acquire FineTech Pharmaceutical, an Israeli fine chemicals maker with expertise in polymorph development and chiral and prostaglandin chemistry. OPKO says it will use FineTech to develop its pipeline of peptoids and other molecules.
Lundbeck has invested in Ossianix, a Philadelphia-based firm that was founded last year by former Pfizer research executives Frank S. Walsh and Corey S. Goodman. The investment will support Ossianix’ research on nervous system disorder treatments using its single-domain antibody platform modeled on the shark vNAR structure.
Pfizer will fund research at Sweden’s Karo Bio under an agreement to develop small-molecule RORgamma modulators for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Karo could receive up to $217 million in up-front and milestone agreements.
Probiodrug, a German biopharmaceutical company, has received $19 million in new venture capital financing for the development of its glutaminyl cyclase inhibitor program. The company’s lead compound, PQ912, targets Alzheimer’s disease.
Scynexis and the nonprofit MMV have assembled a “malaria box” of 400 commercially available compounds with antimalarial activity. Selected by experienced medicinal chemists, the compounds are intended to catalyze drug discovery for malaria and neglected diseases. They are provided to researchers at no cost.
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