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Business Roundup

June 17, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 25


The European Commission has conducted unannounced inspections of companies involved in purchasing styrene, used to make polymers and elastomers. The EC is investigating possible cartel and restrictive business practices.

Haldor Topsoe, a family-owned Danish chemical process and catalyst firm, is looking for an investor to buy a minority stake in the company. The investor would have the option of floating its shares in an initial public offering in five to seven years.

Polystyvert, a Montreal-based start-up developing a process that recycles polystyrene by dissolving it in a solvent, has raised $11 million in a financing round, largely from local investors. The company also has a collaboration with French oil giant Total.

Siluria, a San Francisco-based start-up that has developed a technology to make ethylene via the oxidative coupling of methane, has signed a multiplant technology license with Saudi Aramco. The Saudi national oil company is already a Siluria investor and has been investing heavily in chemicals.

Dow Chemical says it will build an alkoxylation facility on the Gulf Coast by the end of 2021 to support home and personal care businesses. Ineos recently announced a similar plan. Separately, Dow says it will nearly double glycol ether capacity with a series of projects around the globe.

Daiichi Sankyo will pay up to $358 million in compensation to U.S. patients for failing to warn them about the possible gastrointestinal illnesses that its blood pressure drug olmesartan—trade name Benicar—can cause. The company’s insurance coverage will provide most of the funds.

Pfizer will put $600 million into its investment arm, Pfizer Ventures. The venture fund will devote roughly $150 million of the fund to early-stage companies focused on neuroscience, a therapeutic area where in January Pfizer made deep cuts.

Juvenescence, an antiaging drug company based on the Isle of Man, has raised $50 million in series A financing. The firm has already made investments in multiple artificial intelligence and regenerative medicine companies, including Insilico Medicine and LyGenesis.


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