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Business Roundup

January 16, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 3

Air Products & Chemicals has agreed to sell its continental Europe oxygen therapy and related patient home care businesses to Linde for $750 million. Air Products says those businesses no longer fit with its core gases operations. It is reviewing options for home care businesses in the U.K., Ireland, Argentina, and Brazil.

Sasol has reached an agreement to sell its site in Witten, Germany, along with the associated oleochemicals business to Hamburg-based Peter Cremer Holding. The Witten site employs about 100 people who make ingredients for cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals.

Ashland plans to expand production of cross-linked poly­vinyl­pyrrolidone polymers at its plant in Texas City, Texas. The polymers are used as tablet disintegrants and dissolution aids for pharmaceuticals. They were acquired last year as part of Ashland’s purchase of International Specialty Products.

Dow Chemical has sold Chemoxy International, a custom maker of specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, and solvents, to the firm’s management, led by Ian Stark and Martyn Bainbridge. Chemoxy operates in Middlesbrough and Bil­lingham, England, and employs 80 people.

Honeywell’s engineering segment, UOP, is licensing its Oleflex propane dehydrogenation technology to Dow Chemical. Dow plans on using the technology in a 750,000-metric-ton-per-year propylene plant that will be constructed at one of its Texas sites by 2015.

Forma Therapeutics has created an alliance with Janssen Biotech under which it will discover small-molecule drugs that target tumor metabolism mechanisms. Forma could get up to $700 million in project and milestone funding over several years.

Allergan’s pharmaceutical subsidiary in Ireland will invest $350 million in its Westport site to expand biologics development and manufacturing capabilities. The expansion will create about 200 new jobs at the site over the next four years.

Blend Therapeutics has been launched by Robert Langer and Stephen Lippard of MIT and Omid Farokhzad of Harvard Medical School. The venture-capital-backed start-up plans to develop combination medicines by using its Maestro technology, which controls multiple drugs in concert.

Newron Pharmaceuticals will license rights to safinamide in Japan and other parts of Asia to Meiji Seika Pharma. In October 2011, Merck Serono relinquished rights to the pain drug, which is in Phase III trials.

GlaxoSmithKline has exercised an option to license ChemoCentryx’ CCX354, an investigational drug intended to treat rheumatoid arthritis by inhibiting the chemokine receptor CCR1. ChemoCentryx will receive a $25 million license fee and could get future milestone payments.



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