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Business Roundup

September 16, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 37

Dow Chemical will add production of its Affinity GA polyolefin elastomers at its site in Tarragona, Spain, by the first quarter of 2014. The firm says the new facility will complement an existing plant in Freeport, Texas, and help meet demand from the hot-melt adhesives market.

Umicore’s active pharmaceutical ingredients facility in Pilar, Buenos Aires, has received current Good Manufacturing Practices certification from the Danish Health & Medicines Authority, allowing it to sell highly potent anticancer APIs in Europe. Umicore makes cisplatin, carboplatin, and other platinum-based APIs in Pilar.

ScinoPharm will produce topiramate, the active ingredient in Trokendi XR, an epilepsy drug from Supernus Pharmaceuticals that won FDA approval last month. It will be the first topiramate-based epilepsy drug that patients need to take only once daily, Supernus says.

Suntory Beverage & Food, a Japanese firm best known for its whiskey, has acquired Glaxo­SmithKline’s Lucozade and Ribena energy and fruit drink brands for $2.1 billion. GSK had announced plans to sell the product lines to focus on its core health care businesses.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals will focus its resources on completing three clinical development programs in the dry-eye and autoimmune disease areas. As a result, the South San Francisco-based biotech firm will cut 30 jobs, or 18% of its workforce, mostly in the drug discovery area.

Roche is paying $10 million up front, and up to $413 million more, to help Inovio Pharmaceuticals develop DNA-based immunotherapeutic vaccines. Still in preclinical development, the multi­antigen vaccines target prostate cancer and hepatitis B.

Novartis has set up a licensing and research collaboration with Kentucky-based Regenerex. Novartis will use the smaller firm’s hematopoietic stem-cell-based cell therapy approach for preventing transplant rejection and in other disease areas.

The Broad Institute and Bayer HealthCare will develop drugs that selectively target cancer genome alterations. Under the five-year pact, Bayer will tap into Broad’s oncogenomics expertise, which includes a catalog of tumor mutation changes. Both partners will contribute compound libraries, screening platforms, and medicinal chemistry know-how.



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