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Business Roundup

November 17, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 46

Shell Chemical has exercised an option to buy an industrial site in Monaca, Pa., from the zinc producer Horsehead. In 2012,Shell announced that it was studying the construction of an ethylene cracker on the site.

Styrolution, a styrenics producer, plans to close its 80,000-metric-ton-per-year polystyrene facility in Trelleborg, Sweden, by the end of the year with the loss of 51 jobs. The firm blames the closure on decreasing demand for polystyrene in Europe.

Solazyme will partner with the Italian chemical maker Versalis to expand the use of Encapso, an encapsulated lubricant made from algal oil that is designed to improve the sustainability of oil drilling. Versalis will supply the additive to oil and gas fields operated by Eni, its parent company, and market it to third parties.

Chemtura plans to cut manufacturing costs by about $50 million, or 10%, annually and to cut other costs by more than $25 million. The firm says the moves are in response to excess capacity in bromine and certain organometallics combined with volatility in some markets.

Electrochaea, a Munich-based start-up, has raised several million dollars in a first round of funding to support development of its power-to-gas technology. The process creates methane by forming hydrogen with renewable energy and then feeding it, along with waste CO2, to methane-emitting microbes.

Agilent Technologies and Genetic Technologies have ended patent infringement litigation after Genetic Technologies offered to dismiss its claims against Agilent. Australia-based Genetic Technologies had claimed that Agilent microarray products infringed its patent.

ArQule and the National Human Genome Research Institute will collaborate on the clinical development of ARQ 092, a small-molecule AKT inhibitor, as a treatment for Proteus syndrome, a rare disease characterized by overgrowth of the skeleton, skin, adipose tissue, and the central nervous system. NIH is developing a Phase I trial with input from ArQule.

Charles River Laboratories has extended by five years a drug discovery collaboration with CHDI Foundation, a nonprofit focused on Huntington’s disease. CHDI began the collaboration in 2005 with BioFocus, a chemistry service provider that Charles River acquired in March.



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