en Nippon Shokubai Buys Sirrus Japan’s Nippon Shokubai has agreed to buy Sirrus, a US-based company that has developed cost-advantaged technology to produce reactive monomers at high purities. The transaction is due to complete this month, subject to the usual closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:09:00 +0000 GSK and Regeneron Back UK Biobank Project UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and US biotech Regeneron Pharmaceuticals are investing in a gene sequencing project that uses anonymous patient data held by the UK Biobank. The initiative, said Regeneron, will enable researchers to gain valuable insights to support the development of new medicines for a variety of serious and life-threatening diseases. Thu, 30 Mar 2017 10:10:00 +0000 New Giant Petchems and Plastics Project in Texas Another new mammoth petrochemicals and plastics project has been announced for the US state of Texas by non-US companies seeking to profit from access to inexpensive shale gas-derived ethane feedstock. Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:03:00 +0000 Brexit Should Not Weaken EU, Says VCI Brexit negotiations set to begin now that the UK has triggered Article 50 of the EU Treaty, regulating its exit, should not further weaken the European Union and put its achievements at stake says the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI). Wed, 29 Mar 2017 22:53:00 +0000 MedImmune and Sanofi Pasteur in LRTI Drug Pact AstraZeneca’s biologics R&D arm MedImmune and Sanofi’s vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur have agreed to develop and jointly commercialize the monoclonal antibody MEDI8897 for the treatment of lower respiratory tract illness (LRTI) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:41:00 +0000 ExxonMobil Takes Jurong Aromatics ExxonMobil has emerged as the winner for Singapore-based Jurong Aromatics Corp. (JAC), outbidding Lotte Chemical and Hanwha Total Petrochemicals, according to a report in The Korea Herald newspaper. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2017. The US oil and gas firm is said to have offered about 2 trillion won ($1.78 billion), which was double the respective 1 trillion won the South Korean firms reportedly bid. Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:36:00 +0000 US Court Reopens 5,000 Fosamax Lawsuits The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has ruled that 5,000 lawsuits brought by patients taking Merck & Co.’s osteoporosis drug Fosamax (alendronate) must be reopened, three years after the dust on the dispute was believed to have settled. The plaintiffs had claimed that the drug was responsible for their femur fractures. Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:30:00 +0000 CEFIC Identifies Ways to Improve REACH The EU's chemicals legislation REACH – in force for ten years and now undergoing its second review – is functioning relatively well, but there is room for improvement, Erwin Annys, director of chemicals policy at the European Chemistry Council (CEFIC), said in a speech to the recent Global Business Summit held in Amsterdam and organized by the British trade publication Chemical Watch. Wed, 29 Mar 2017 03:23:00 +0000 Saudi Aramco/SABIC Sign MoUs with Chinese Firms Saudi Aramco and SABIC have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to develop refining and chemical plants in China. The deals were done during a visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to Beijing on Mar. 16, when he oversaw the signing of agreements potentially worth as much as $65 billion. The visit was part of a month-long tour of Asia to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in Aramco. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:53:00 +0000 Air Products Drops Bid for Yingde Gases Air Products has abandoned its proposed bid for Yingde Gases, China’s largest industrial gases producer, leaving the door open for a rival offer to be accepted from private equity firm PAG Capital. Hong Kong-based PAG has offered 6 Hong Kong dollars per Yingde share, valuing the company at $1.5 billion and matching Air Products’ non-binding offer.  Yingde’s three biggest shareholders, owning around 42% of the company, are reported to have accepted PAG’s offer. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:48:00 +0000 HCS Group Plans Capacity Expansion at German Production Site Haltermann Carless, a HCS Group brand and leading provider of high value specialty hydrocarbons continues to invest into its sites and technologies to broaden its offerings for customers. The company has commissioned Neste Jacobs, a global solution provider of high-quality technology, engineering and project services, to plan an upgrade and expansion of the Haltermann Carless production site in Speyer, Germany. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:59:00 +0000 PPG Meets Dutch Officials but not Akzo Nobel An executive delegation from US coatings major PPG returned to headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from the Netherlands on Mar. 24 without having met management of takeover object Akzo Nobel, reports said. What was regarded as a public relations exercise followed the Dutch company’s rejection of a second takeover bid pegged at around €90 per share, an enterprise value of €22.7 billion, on Mar. 20. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 03:40:00 +0000 EU Commission Greenlights DowDuPont The European Commission (EC) on Mar. 27 approved the proposed $130 billion merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont into DowDuPont after the companies made promises to sell substantial assets including key research and development activities related to EU countries. Deadline for a decision was Apr. 3. Following the merger of all assets, plans call for the new, even larger, chemical giant to split into three parts – including materials and specialty products in addition to agriculture. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 03:25:00 +0000 Umicore Facility in Argentinia Passes new European cGMP Audit Umicore’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) facility in Pilar, Buenos Aires, successfully underwent a European cGMP inspection by the German Health and Medicine Authority. The audit confirms Umicore ability to manufacture highly potent anticancer APIs under current Good Manufacturing Practice at highest quality standards and to sell them in Europe. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:07:00 +0000 Sumitomo to Make AMOLED Panels in Korea Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical plans to invest $132 million in a new plant in South Korea to produce curved-surface AMOLED touch panels based on thin-film substrates.  The Japanese company is currently the largest supplier of glass substrate-based panels with annual capacity for 400 million and an estimated global market share of 60-70%. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:34:00 +0000 SABIC to Supply Urea to Bangladesh Saudi chemical giant SABIC has agreed to supply 305,000 t/y of urea to Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation. The one-year agreement is an extension of a previous contract. The Saudi group said it is also discussing a possible strategic cooperation with Banglasdesh on agriculture R&D. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:32:00 +0000 Pfizer CEO Criticizes US Healthcare On the eve of the US Republican party’s failed bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act (AHA) of former US president, Barack Obama and replace it with its own plan, Pfizer CEO Ian Read told the National Press Club in Washington that the US healthcare system is flawed in that insurance plans are shifting the burden of drug prices to patients. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:10:00 +0000 Daelim Bids for Williams Geismar Plant South Korea’s Daelim Industrial has joined the main bidding to acquire Williams Partners’ olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana, USA, according to a report in the newspaper Korea Economic Daily. Williams announced last September that it would sell its majority 88.5% stake in the plant, or seek a long-term tolling agreement. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:22:00 +0000 A. Schulman Hikes European Masterbatch Capacity US plastics compounder and distributor A. Schulman has announced it will increase production capacity for color masterbatches in Europe in order to meet growing market demand. Three additional extruders will be added at its facilities in Hungary, Italy and Poland. Heinrich Lingnau, senior vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the expansion is the third recent significant investment in its masterbatch manufacturing sites. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:14:00 +0000 Arix, LDC and Leeds University in Metabolic Pact UK healthcare and life science company Arix Bioscience has signed an agreement with the Lead Discovery Center (LDC), Max Planck Innovation and the University of Leeds to develop new therapeutics for metabolic diseases. Under the deal, Arix will fund and manage experimental work that builds on discoveries from the faculty of cardiovascular medicine and diabetes at the University of Leeds and LDC, focusing on developing antagonists of a novel target for a variety of metabolic indications. Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:06:00 +0000 Sherwin-Williams and Valspar Merger Delayed Completion of the merger of US paint companies Sherwin-Williams and Valspar has been postponed from Mar. 21 to Jun. 21, 2107 because of delays related to the sale of one of Sherwin-William’s businesses that is required before regulators can clear the deal. Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:58:00 +0000 India May Have Concerns on DowDuPont Just as news agencies and the CEOs of and DuPont had begun reporting that the merger of the two US chemical powerhouses was close to receiving all regulatory approvals, antitrust authorities in India have announcd they have concerns about the $130 billion deal. In a statement on Mar. 22, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it is “of the prima facie opinion that the proposed combination between Dow Chemical Company and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company is likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition." Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:50:00 +0000 BASF Sells Leather Chemicals Unit to Stahl After previous unsuccessful efforts to divest its leather business, BASF has found a buyer in the Netherlands-based Stahl Group. To facilitate a deal, the German chemical giant has agreed to take a 16% minority stake in the leading supplier of process chemicals for leather products and performance coatings in which French private equity investor Wendel and Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant currently hold stakes. Fri, 24 Mar 2017 04:44:00 +0000 Odfjell Orders More Chemical Tankers Norwegian shipping and tank terminal company Odfjell has signed a letter of intent with China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for two additional chemical tankers with stainless steel cargo tanks at a cost of about $116 million. Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:29:00 +0000 Chandra Asri Studies Second Petchem Complex Indonesia’s largest integrated petrochemical company, Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP), will undertake a feasibility study to build and operate a second integrated chemical complex in the country. The multi-billion dollar facility, which will be sited adjacent to its existing complex at Cilegon in Banten province, will comprise a 1 million t/y ethylene cracker and units for various downstream derivatives, sharing some of the existing common facilities. Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:25:00 +0000