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Business Roundup

January 23, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 4

BASF has chosen Ludwigshafen, Germany, as the site for a 300,000-metric-ton-per-year toluene diisocyanate plant that it expects to open by the end of 2014. The company earlier said it was considering Ludwigshafen and Antwerp, Belgium, for the $1.3 billion polyurethane raw materials facility.

Velsicol Chemical has idled a plant in Memphis where it makes cyclopentadiene derivatives such as hexachlorocyclopentadiene, which is used to make pesticides that are under regulatory fire. According to a filing with the state government, the company laid off 35 workers there.

Lanxess’ Rhein Chemie rubber chemical unit is planning a $6.5 million facility in Lipezk, Russia. The company plans to start work on rubber additives and release agents units at the site within the next few months and complete them next year. It will then build a plant to make tire bladders by 2016.

Joule has closed a $70 million funding round, bringing the cash it has raised to date to $110 million. The start-up company plans to use the money to expand a facility in Hobbs, N.M., where it is testing the use of photosynthetic microorganisms to convert carbon dioxide to fuels and chemicals.

International Flavors & Fragrances will eliminate 70 positions as part of a realignment of its functional fragrances group that includes greater emphasis on creative centers in Singapore and Mexico. After a $10 million pretax charge, the firm expects to save $9 million this year.

Enzymicals and Herbrand PharmaChemicals have formed an active pharmaceutical ingredient and biocatalyst production partnership. The deal between the two German firms extends an existing venture in route-scouting services using biocatalysts and biotransformations.

Almac and MGB Biopharma have signed an agreement under which Almac will manufacture MGB’s lead compound, a gram-positive antibacterial called MGB-BP3. The compound is a DNA minor-groove binder in preclinical development.

Alnylam has filed suit against Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, claiming it infringed Alnylam’s patents by providing lipid-nanoparticle-formulated siRNA to a drug industry partner. Alnylam and Tekmira have collaborated since 2008 on liposomal delivery technologies for RNAi. Tekmira sued Alnylam in March 2011 for misuse of trade secrets.



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