Praxair has signed a long-term agreement to purchase helium from Castleton Commodities International. As a result, Castleton will restart an idle helium refinery in Utah that can annually generate up to 150 million cu ft of helium, replacing dwindling supplies from the Bureau of Land Management’s system.
Ineos has acquired Axiall’s aromatics business for $63 million. The deal includes a cumene plant in Pasadena, Texas, employing 43 people as well as phenol, acetone, and α-methylstyrene businesses that will now transfer to Ineos’s Mobile, Ala., unit. Axiall plans to shut down a phenol unit in Plaquemine, La., by year’s end.
Asahi Kasei will spend $41 million to build a new lithium-ion battery separator plant in Hyuga, Japan. The firm recently completed the acquisition of Polypore International’s U.S.-based battery separator business.
Evonik Industries has started planning for a 150,000-metric-ton-per-year methionine plant on Jurong Island in Singapore, which it expects to start up in 2019. The new plant would be Evonik’s second on Jurong Island for the animal feed additive.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is under congressional scrutiny for its drug pricing. Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform have asked the Republican committee chair to subpoena Valeant to turn over documents related to the prices of two heart treatments. The company raised the price of Nitropress and Isuprel by 212% and 525%, respectively, after acquiring them in February.
Aduro Biotech will pay $33 million in cash and stock to acquire BioNovion, a privately held monoclonal antibody discovery and development firm based in the Netherlands. BioNovion develops immuno-oncology antibodies. Aduro plans to operate the 24-employee business as a subsidiary.
PeptiDream has signed a peptide drug discovery collaboration with Teijin Pharma. The Japanese companies will generate and test macrocyclic and constrained peptides against multiple targets. Teijin will select the targets and have rights to develop and commercialize any resulting therapeutic peptides.
AbbVie will not exercise its right to license Galapagos’s selective JAK1 inhibitor, filgotinib, currently in clinical development for rheumatoid arthritis. Instead AbbVie will proceed with a JAK1 inhibitor developed in-house, ABT-494.