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Business

Business Roundup

March 2, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 9

Chemoxy, a Teesside, England-based producer of solvents and other specialty chemicals, will invest $30 million to increase capacity at its two sites in England and expand its product range. Chemoxy says the investment will enable it to double annual sales to about $150 million by 2020.

BASF and Petronas will build a 30,000-metric-ton-per-year 2-ethylhexanoic acid plant at their site in Kuantan, Malaysia. The intermediate is used to make lubricants, oil additives, engine coolants, plasticizers, and other products.

Bluestar Silicones has expanded its liquid silicone rubber capacity in York, S.C., by about 30%. The firm bought the York site in 2012 and relocated facilities in Ventura, Calif., and Rock Hill, S.C., there.

Synalloy’s CRI Tolling subsidiary has signed a three-year agreement to produce biobased polyols for BioBased Technologies, which makes the polyurethane building block from soy, cashew nut, and castor oils. Synalloy plans to produce more than 6 million lb of the polyols this year.

Agrimetis, a crop protection start-up, has raised $7.3 million in a first round of funding led by Syngenta Ventures and Acidophil. The company uses synthetic biology and chemistry to discover natural products that it says have better specificity against pests than today’s natural products.

Shire will pay $70 million to acquire Meritage Pharma, a San Diego-based drug firm that is developing an oral form of budesonide for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis, a rare gastrointestinal disease. Shire says the purchase will expand its rare disease drug franchise.

Ipsen, a French drugmaker, has secured the exclusive right to acquire Canbex, a biotech spin-off of University College London. The right to purchase Canbex will become active after the firm completes the Phase IIa study of a drug candidate that treats spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis.

Merck & Co. and the biotech firm NGM Biopharmaceuticals have formed a biologic R&D collaboration that includes several drug candidates in preclinical development at NGM. Merck will pay NGM $94 million and purchase a 15% stake in the company for $106 million.

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