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Business Roundup

August 5, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 31

Methanex has invested $5 million in Carbon Recycling International, which makes methanol in Iceland using waste CO2 as a raw material. Methanex, the world’s largest methanol producer, says it will help CRI expand the use of methanol-blended fuels in Europe.

Eastman Chemical plans to expand capacity for its Tritan resin, a polyester copolymer used as a bisphenol A-free replacement for polycarbonate in housewares, by more than 25% to 76,000 metric tons per year. The company plans to complete the project by the middle of next year.

Air Liquide is investing $66 million to increase carbon monoxide production near Antwerp, Belgium, after the signing of a long-term agreement to supply BASF. The German company will use the CO to make methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, a key polyurethane component.

Mitsui Chemicals will restart a cymene facility that was closed by an accident at its Iwakuni-Ohtake site, in Japan, in April 2012. Except for a resorcinol unit that Mitsui has decided not to restart, the cymene plant was the last one to resume operations at the site.

Life Technologies has signed a five-year agreement with FDA to advance testing of the foodborne contaminants Escherichia coli and Salmonella using the company’s Ion PGM genome sequencer. The firm will analyze genomic information and provide assays for FDA to validate and analyze. Life Technologies will also develop detection kits to trace foodborne contaminants in the event of an outbreak.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Samsung Biologics have signed an agreement under which Samsung will manufacture a commercial antibody cancer drug for BMS at its new plant in Songdo Incheon, South Korea. Samsung launched its biologics business in 2011.

Actelion will acquire Ceptaris Therapeutics for $250 million plus additional payments. The deal is contingent on FDA approval of Valchlor, a Ceptaris drug. Based on the chemotherapeutic mechlorethamine, Valchlor is a topical lymphoma treatment.

MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca, has out-licensed a monoclonal antibody targeting the HER3 receptor tyrosine kinase to Kolltan Pharmaceuticals. The biotech firm, which is headed by Bahija Jallal, the former vice president of oncology R&D at MedImmune, expects to begin Phase I studies of the drug candidate in the first quarter of 2014.

Edimer Pharmaceuticals has raised $18 million in financing that it will use to develop EDI200, a recombinant protein for the treatment of a rare genetic disorder called X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. The financing round includes new investor Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures.


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