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Business Roundup

July 27, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 30

Cabot Corp. has taken a $500 million noncash impairment charge in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that struck down EPA rules for limiting emissions of mercury from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The company says the charge reflects a lower valuation of its activated-carbon business, which it obtained with the 2012 purchase of Norit.

Atotech, a maker of specialty plating chemicals, has won a patent infringement case in Chinese courts against a Chinese firm that tried to invalidate Atotech’s patent on its Stannatech process for plating tin on printed circuit boards. The German firm’s victory follows, by just weeks, Honeywell’s victory in a Chinese court against a Chinese company it accused of infringing patents on the refrigerant and blowing agent hydrofluorocarbon-245fa.

BASF Petronas Chemicals, a joint-venture firm 60% owned by BASF and 40% by Petronas, plans to build a 50,000-metric-ton-per-year highly reactive polyisobutene (HR-PIB) plant in Kuantan, Malaysia, by 2017. HR-PIB is a key intermediate in the production of fuel and lubricant additives.

Solvay is studying the construction of a hydrogen peroxide plant in Russia on the site of a new pulp mill being built by Siberwood in Siberia. The Russian plant would use Solvay’s myH2O2 process for making the peroxide in remote areas.

Lubrizol has installed a new reactor at its Avon Lake, Ohio, plant for making hyperdispersants, used in paints, coatings, colorants, and inks. With the new reactor, employment at the facility increased by 5%.

Cepsa, the Spanish energy and chemicals firm, is acquiring Investissement Québec’s 49% interest in its Bécancour, Quebec, linear alkylbenzene joint venture, giving it full ownership. The plant has the capacity to make 120,000 metric tons of the detergent raw material per year.

Autifony Therapeutics has closed a $12.5 million extension to a Series A funding round, which previously raised more than $23 million. On the basis of strong preclinical results for its lead drug, AUT00063, in age-related hearing loss, the firm says it will explore potential for its novel ion channel mechanism in other areas of unmet medical need, including tinnitus and schizophrenia.

Agenus, an immunology therapy specialist, has acquired rights to antibodies targeting carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1), a glycoprotein overexpressed in certain cancers on T and NK cells, from Diatheva, an Italian biotech company. Agenus receives exclusive rights to development and commercialization of antibodies from Diatheva and will make up-front and milestone payments of up to $44 million.



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