Issue Date: March 11, 2013
Kraton is resurrecting plans to build a $200 million, 30,000-metric-ton-per-year hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer plant in Mailiao, Taiwan. The plant was shelved last year when partner Formosa Petrochemical concluded that the Taiwanese government’s conditions for environmental approval put unwarranted restrictions, now removed, on the rest of its operations.
Ashland will move much of its New Jersey-based operations from Wayne to nearly 200,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space in Bridgewater that was recently vacated by the French drugmaker Sanofi. Ashland acquired the Wayne operation with its 2011 purchase of International Specialty Products.
Evonik Industries has confirmed that it will withdraw from Evonik Sanzheng, a Chinese cyanuric chloride joint venture, and will instead rely on output from its German sites. Last year the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that the venture, 65% owned by Evonik, had made improper payments and gifts.
Alta Devices, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based start-up, says its newest photovoltaic cells have reached a record 30.8% solar efficiency, as verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The flexible cells, based on gallium arsenide, are the first to include Alta’s dual-junction solar-cell technology.
Crystal Pharmatech, a Chinese contract research organization, has formed service partnerships with 3D BioOptima, a Chinese preclinical services contractor, and Particle Sciences, a Bethlehem, Pa.-based drug delivery system developer. Crystal Pharmatech specializes in crystallization and other solid-state chemistry services.
Takeda Pharmaceutical and Resolve Therapeutics will jointly develop compounds for treating lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Takeda will pay $8 million up front, a possible option fee, and up to $247 million in milestone payments. Resolve’s lead compound, RSLV-132, is set to enter clinical development later this year.
Celgene has teamed with Presage Biosciences to find new drug combinations to treat solid tumors. In exchange for access to technology, which allows combinations of drugs to be directly compared in the same tumor tissue, Celgene will pay Presage an undisclosed up-front fee and take a stake in the firm.
Kala Pharmaceuticals has raised $11.5 million in an initial round of financing led by Crown Venture Fund. The Waltham, Mass.-based firm says the money will support the development of two drugs based on its mucosal penetration product platform: a topical treatment for ocular inflammation and a drug for wet age-related macular degeneration.
Calypso Biotech, a Swiss firm developing antibodies for gastrointestinal disorders, has been spun off from Merck Serono with the help of $3.2 million in funding from Merck. Calypso is the sixth firm to be spun off from Merck Serono since mid-2012 when the firm announced it would close its Geneva headquarters.
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