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Business Roundup

June 17, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 24

Ineos plans to close its expandable polystyrene plant in Marl, Germany, at the end of the year. The firm says it is working to find alternative jobs for the plant’s 65 staffers. Demand for the polymer, used to insulate buildings, has dipped because of the poor economic situation in Europe, the firm says.

AkzoNobel is set to increase capacity for monochloroacetic acid solution at its plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, by 15,000 metric tons per year. To come on-line in 2014, the expansion will supply agrochemical, personal care, oil-field, and mining customers, Akzo says.

Asahi Kasei will buy DuPont’s 50% stake in the two firms’ polyacetal copolymer joint venture in China. In operation since 2004, the unit operates a 20,000-metric-ton-per-year plant in Zhangjiagang, about 60 miles northwest of Shanghai.

5N Plus, a Canadian maker of specialty metal and chemical products, plans to build a gallium chemicals facility in South Korea. To open by the end of the year, the facility will meet growing demand for gallium in light-emitting diode manufacturing in Northeast Asia, 5N says.

Renmatix, a manufacturer of cellulosic sugar, has signed an agreement with the Finnish forest products firm UPM to further develop Renmatix’ process for making sugar from woody biomass. In the process, high-temperature and pressurized water break down biomass through supercritical hydrolysis.

Waters Corp. has named the University of Minnesota Flavor Research & Education Center as one of its Centers of Innovation. With the recognition comes support for analytical scientists at the center who use liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Pfizer has won a $2.15 billion settlement from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries for infringing a patent on Protonix, an ulcer medication. The generic drug firms launched a version of the drug prior to the January 2011 expiration of the patent on its active ingredient, pantoprazole.

Agios Pharmaceuticals, a biotech firm focused on treating cancer and rare genetic metabolic diseases, has filed a prospectus with U.S. regulators to enable it to go public. The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm hopes to raise up to $86 million to help support clinical studies of its first two cancer metabolism drug candidates.



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