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Business Roundup

January 12, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 2

Toray Industries will double its capacity for spunbond polypropylene fiber to 37,000 metric tons per year at its plant in Tangerang, Indonesia. The material is mostly used for top sheets in disposable diapers.

Shanghai Pret Composites, a Chinese plastics compounder, has agreed to buy Wellman Plastics Recycling for $70 million. The business, which primarily recycles nylon at its plant in Johnsonville, S.C., was sold to a group of private investors in 2008 following the bankruptcy proceedings of fiber producer Wellman Inc.

DSM has agreed to sell Euroresins, a distributor of products for the composite resins industry, to Cathay Investments, a U.K.-based chemical distribution and trading firm, for an undisclosed fee. Euroresins has sales of about $107 million and 70 staffers.

Reliance Industries has contracted with the Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines for the operation of six ships to transport ethane. By the end of 2016, the Indian chemical maker aims to import 1.5 million metric tons per year of U.S. ethane for use in its Indian ethylene crackers.

Vtesse, a rare disease company focused on developing drugs for Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), has launched with $25 million in funding. NIH has licensed to Vtesse the rights to cyclodextrin δ-tocopherol and its derivatives for the treatment of NPC. Vtesse is the first spin-off from the Pfizer-backed orphan drug accelerator Cydan Development.

Novartis's biosimilar drug filgrastim has been recommended for approval by FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee. If FDA accepts the recommendation, the drug would be the first biosimilar approved for sale in the U.S.

Pfizer has acquired a controlling interest in Redvax, a spin-off of the Swiss biopharmaceutical company Redbiotec. The purchase will give Pfizer access to a preclinical human cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidate and technology related to a second, undisclosed, vaccine program.

CytomX Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing antibody-based therapies for cancer, has raised $20 million in its latest round of financing. Pfizer Venture Investments led the round, which included Roche Venture Fund, Third Rock Ventures, and Canaan Partners.



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