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Business Roundup

October 20, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 42

Chemtrade Logistics will shut down a hydrofluoric acid plant in Bay Point, Calif., that produced on behalf of KMG Chemicals. KMG says it has secured an alternative supply of the acid, which it purifies in Pueblo, Colo., for sale to the electronics industry.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and Toyobo have agreed to discontinue their joint venture that produces purified terephthalic acid, a polyester raw material. The two have operated a 260,000-metric-ton-per-year plant in Japan since the early 1970s.

Dow Chemical has halted production at its polycarbonate plant in Freeport, Texas, and plans to demolish the plant within the next year. The company had been making the plastic under contract for Trinseo.

Kemira will make a multi-million-dollar investment to expand a paper chemicals plant in San Giorgio, Italy, next year. The project will boost the company’s output of its FennoBond line, which enhances the wet and dry tensile strength of tissue paper.

Borealis has secured a $95 million loan from the development bank KfW IPEX-Bank, which Borealis will use to invest in its polymer R&D centers. The company received a similar loan of $190 million from the European Investment Bank earlier this year.

Selecta Biosciences has raised more than $20 million from investors to help it develop drugs, including a gout treatment, with its synthetic vaccine particle technology. Separately, Selecta and JDRF, a diabetes research organization, have attracted Sanofi as a partner in their R&D pact.

Roche has broadened its partnership with the Munich-based biotech firm Wilex to identify antibody-drug conjugates. The deal includes the rights to an additional tumor target, for which Roche will pay the biotech up to $65 million in up-front and milestone payments.

Omniox has received a $5.8 million Wellcome Trust Translation Fund Award to help advance the oxygen-delivery protein OMX-4.80 for treating the brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme. Omniox was founded in 2006 around technology from chemist Michael A. Marletta.

Astellas Pharma will collaborate with Harvard Medical School researchers to discover the pathologic mechanism for retinitis pigmentosa and to identify new therapeutic targets. They will explore gene therapy as a treatment option to retain vision in patients who have inherited the disease.



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