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Business Roundup

February 9, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 6

FMC has acquired global rights to an herbicide invented by two Japanese companies, Kumiai Chemical and Ihara Chemical. The three companies joined two years ago to evaluate the product, which appears to overcome the problem of herbicide resistance.

Frutarom, an Israeli flavors and ingredients firm, has acquired Ingredientes Naturales Seleccionados, a Spanish provider of plant extracts used as flavors, colors, and antioxidants, for about $8 million. Frutarom also acquired FoodBlenders, a British maker of spices and seasonings, for about $2.4 million.

Almac will put $7 million into a biocatalysis project with Queens University Belfast, in Northern Ireland. The pharmaceutical services firm says the project will help it provide technology and products for the drug, flavor, and agrochemical sectors.

Sumitomo Chemical has agreed to buy the compound semiconductor materials business of Hitachi Metals. The business produces materials such as gallium nitride substrates and gallium arsenide epitaxial wafers used to build smartphones, light-emitting diodes, and other products.

VWR has acquired National Biochemicals, an Ohio-based manufacturer of biochemicals, molecular biology reagents, and multicompendial chemicals. VWR says the purchase will add to its custom chemical and biochemical manufacturing portfolio.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals has become the first company from Bangladesh allowed to export drugs to the U.S. Last month FDA inspected a Beximco oral-dosage facility in Dhaka. The firm produces active pharmaceutical ingredients as well as generic drugs.

Pfizer has ended a pact with Repligen to develop compounds to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). In 2012,Pfizer paid $5 million to license Repligen’s lead small molecule, RG3039, and follow-on compounds. The patient organization Families of SMA had invested more than $13 million to support the preclinical development of RG3039.

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals has shed more than 20% of its workforce. Last month, after disappointing Phase II study results, the South San Francisco-based company ended development of KB001-A, an antibody fragment that treats Pseudomonas infections in people with cystic fibrosis.



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