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Business Roundup

October 15, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 42

Lubrizol will spend about $125 million to build a chlorinated polyvinyl chloride resin and compounding facility in Deer Park, Texas, by the end of 2014. Lubrizol already makes the resin, used in plumbing, fire sprinkler, and other construction applications, at the site.

AkzoNobel has filed a suit against Dow Chemical in U.S. District Court in Delaware. The Dutch firm claims that Dow’s Bluewave technology, used to make polyolefin dispersions for paints and coatings, infringes an Akzo patent.

Victrex plans to increase its polyaryletherketone (PAEK) capacity in Thornton Cleveleys, England, by around 70% to more than 7,000 metric tons per year. The expansion, to be complete by early 2015, reflects growing demand for PAEK in transportation, industrial, and electronic uses, the firm says.

Metabolic Explorer, a French developer of 1,3-propanediol, butyl alcohol, and other intermediates via fermentation, says it will reorganize its operations and reduce its staff of 121 by approximately 46 positions. The firm blames economic and market conditions for the changes.

Targacept, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based biotech firm, is cutting 38% of its workforce and closing down research by the end of the year after disappointing results from a Phase II trial of TC-5619, an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug. The layoffs will save the company roughly $10 million in 2013 and leave it with 43 employees.

Pfizer’s patent on the cancer drug Sutent has been revoked by India’s patent office on the grounds that it lacks an inventive step. Pfizer says it will appeal the decision. The company joins several other big drug firms in losing patent protection on products in India in recent months.

Life Technologies has acquired Compendia Bioscience, a cancer bioinformatics firm. Compendia will extend Life Technologies’ ability to develop its own tests and partner with pharmaceutical companies to develop companion diagnostics, Life Technologies says.

Sanofi’s and Massachusetts General Hospital have inked a two-year translational medicine research pact focused on developing drugs against blood cancers and solid tumors. Sanofi’s oncology division will work with three MGH scientists on two molecules in early-stage development.

Merck Serono has created Asceneuron, a developer of therapies for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Merck Serono is providing Asceneuron with seed funding of $8 million, part of the $40 million it put up to help employees affected by the closure of its Geneva headquarters.



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