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Business Roundup

July 1, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 26

Lanxess says it has produced the engineering polymer polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) using 20 metric tons of biobased 1,4-butanediol supplied by San Diego-based Genomatica. The production campaign took place at a PBT plant in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany.

SO.F.TER., an Italy-based plastics compounder, plans to build its first U.S. facility. The company says the plant, in Lebanon, Tenn., will cost $11.5 million and have capacity to produce 50 million lb per year of compounded plastics based on nylon, polypropylene, and thermoplastic elastomers.

Borealis is spending $85 million to upgrade its polyethylene plant in Porvoo, Finland. The investment follows the firm’s move earlier this year to spend $33 million on an oil heater for the Porvoo site’s phenol complex.

Rusnano, a Russian state-owned nanotechnology promoter, has agreed to underwrite an effort by Alcoa to make aluminum pipe with an antiwear nanocoating for the oil and gas industry. To be produced at Alcoa’s Samara, Russia, facility, the nanocoated pipe would enable deep drilling in corrosive environments.

CP Kelco plans to expand production of the thickening agent pectin at its Brazilian facility by 30%. The company, a subsidiary of J. M. Huber, says it will implement new technology to take advantage of local fruit and fruit pulp raw materials.

LanzaTech and Siemens Metals technologies will develop LanzaTech technology for converting carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from steel mill off-gases to ethanol and other basic chemicals. LanzaTech already converts steel mill flue gas to ethanol at two steel plants in China.

Evocatal has raised about $4.6 million in a second financing round. New investors in the German enzymes and fine chemicals firm include Lanxess. Evocatal will get another $1.8 million as coordinator of a German-government-backed project to develop biocatalysts for modifying polymers.

WIL Research, an Ohio-based contract research organization, has acquired Ricerca Biosciences’ pharmaceutical services business in Lyon, France. WIL says that the acquisition boosts its biologics capabilities and that it plans to retain the site’s 280 staffers.

Celgene and MorphoSys will codevelop MOR202, a monoclonal antibody targeting CD38 to treat multiple myeloma and certain leukemias. Celgene will pay a $92 million licensing fee and invest $60 million in MorphoSys. With potential milestone payments, the total deal is worth up to $818 million.



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