Business Roundup | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 35 | p. 21 | Concentrates
Issue Date: August 27, 2012

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Novozymes, an industrial enzyme producer, has developed a fungus that enables production of malic acid from renewable raw materials. Malic acid is used as a flavor enhancer in the food industry and can be converted into derivatives used in plastics.

BASF will work with Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Polymers on new polymers that can help farmers better manage water and nutrients in soil. Products that could emerge from the five-year pact include sprays for water-repellent soils and polymers that can control the distribution of moisture in soil.

Dow Chemical says it has completed an 18-month program to replace organomercury catalysts used to make polyurethane elastomers. Dow says the effort will allow customers to comply with European Union regulations five years before they go into effect.

Honeywell Specialty Materials’ former CEO, Nance Dicciani, has received the 2012 Henry F. Whalen Jr. Award for Excellence in Business Development & Management in the Chemical Enterprise. The award was presented last week in Philadelphia at the ACS national meeting.

BASF is starting a six-week project at the end of August to modernize an acetylene plant and perform maintenance on a 1,4-butanediol facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF says it will invest more than $20 million this year to upgrade production of butanediol and derivatives.

The Wistar Institute has signed a three-year agreement under which DavosPharma, a project management firm representing service suppliers, will support development of drugs discovered by Wistar for cancers associated with Epstein-Barr virus and other diseases. An award from the Wellcome Trust will help fund the research.

Pharmacyclics has received a second $50 million milestone payment from Janssen Biotech, a division of Johnson & Johnson, following the enrollment of its fifth patient in a clinical trial of ibrutinib to treat mantle cell lymphoma. Pharmacyclics is eligible for additional $50 million payments up to a total of $250 million as trials proceed.

Pfizer and Mylan are joining to sell generic drugs in Japan. Pfizer will handle commercialization and marketing, and Mylan will be in charge of R&D and manufacturing. The Japanese government has a goal of increasing generic drug use in the country, the partners note.

Germany’s Merck will acquire Biochrom, a Berlin-based maker of cell-culture media for biopharmaceutical production. Biochrom had $16 million in sales last year. Merck says Biochrom will add ready-to-use liquid media to the cell culture products sold by its Millipore unit.

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