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Business Roundup

March 25, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 12

Huntsman Corp. has acquired a 20% stake in Nippon Aqua, a Japanese maker of spray polyurethane foam insulation. At the same time, Huntsman has entered a 10-year agreement to supply the company with polyurethane systems based on methylene diphenyl diisocyanate.

Versalis, the chemical arm of Italian oil company Eni, has formed a project with the tire maker Pirelli to develop tires made from guayule-based natural rubber. Earlier this year, Versalis formed a partnership with Yulex to manufacture guayule-derived rubber.

Williams Cos. is moving ahead with plans to build a dehydrogenation facility in Alberta, Canada, that will make propylene out of propane recovered from oil sands operations. Set to open in 2016, the plant will cost about $900 million and have capacity for 1.1 billion lb of polymer-grade propylene annually.

Evonik Industries will expand capacity for Mepron, a coated dl-methionine feed additive for dairy cows, by one-third by mid-2013. The company says high prices for feed protein are boosting demand for the amino acid.

Clariant will invest about $12 million to build a plant in Lodz, Poland, that makes color concentrates for plastics master­batches. The company says the 73,000-sq-ft facility will double its capacity for the concentrates.

Amyris and Firmenich have expanded their 2010 collaboration in renewable ingredients for the flavors and fragrances market. The original pact called for Firmenich to fund R&D at Amyris on as many as three ingredients. Now, Firmenich will have exclusive access to Amyris technology in flavors and fragrances for up to six years.

Blueprint Medicines will work with Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center to discover novel cancer targets. The partners will use Blueprint’s collection of kinase inhibitors to interrogate a human cancer cell line panel created by Sanger and Mass. General.

Merck KGaA has hired Denmark’s Nordic Bioscience to help develop sprifermin as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. Nordic Bioscience will provide Merck with clinical development services on a shared-risk basis in exchange for service fees and potential milestone and royalty payments.

Scripps Research Institute Florida and Takeda Pharmaceutical are expanding a research collaboration formed between Scripps and Envoy Therapeutics in 2012. Takeda acquired Envoy last November. Takeda will now draw more deeply on Scripps’s high-throughput screening facility.



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