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Business Roundup

September 29, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 39

LyondellBasell Industries is mulling a 550 million-lb-per-year expansion of ethylene capacity at its plant in Channelview, Texas. The company says the expansion would be in addition to a project already under way at the facility to increase output by 250 million lb.

NexSteppe, a developer of crops for biobased fuels and materials, has raised $22 million from investors including DuPont and energy firm Total.NexSteppe, which previously raised $20 million, will use the new proceeds to improve its sorghum line and launch new seed lines.

Cella Energy has developed a plasticlike material for storing hydrogen in a solid form. The material releases hydrogen quickly when heated. The English company has teamed up with France’s Safran to adapt its material for fuel cells that would replace batteries in aircraft.

Agilent Technologies has named Mike McMullen as its CEO effective March 18, 2015. McMullen, currently head of Agilent’s chemical analysis group, will succeed William Sullivan, who has led the firm since March 2005.

Acorda Therapeutics will acquire Civitas Therapeutics for $525 million in cash. Civitas brings CVT-301, an inhalable form of l-dopa that is in Phase III clinical trials as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries of India will pay $80 million for global rights to tildrakizumab, a Merck & Co. drug for chronic plaque psoriasis that is in Phase III trials in the U.S. Sun will also pay Merck to continue clinical development and registration activities.


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