en Chevron Phillips to Close PX Unit in Mississippi US oil and petrochemicals major Chevron Phillips Chemical has announced plans to end paraxylene (PX) production at its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA, by the end of the year as it focuses on more strategic priorities in its shale-gas fueled US Gulf expansion drive. Fri, 14 Dec 2018 09:09:00 +0000 AVEO and AstraZeneca Link on Lung Cancer US biopharma AVEO Oncology is collaborating with Anglo-Swedish drug major AstraZeneca on a combined treatment for liver cancer. The partners will evaluate the safety and efficacy of combining AVEO’s vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (VEGFR-TKI) Fotivda (tivozanib) with AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy Imfinzi (durvalumab). Fri, 14 Dec 2018 08:30:00 +0000 AkzoNobel Takes Full Ownership of China JV AkzoNobel has taken full ownership of AkzoNobel Swire Paints (ANSP), its decorative paints joint venture in China with Swire Industrial. The Dutch paints and coatings group has held the majority share in the company since 1989. As well as strengthening its leading position in the Chinese decorative paints market, AkzoNobel said assuming full control of the jv will also give it more flexibility to develop the business further. Fri, 14 Dec 2018 05:44:00 +0000 Italmatch Buys BWA Water Additives Italian specialty chemicals company Italmatch Chemicals has agreed to buy BWA Water Additives, a Manchester, UK-headquartered provider of water management technologies for the oil & gas, industrial water treatment and desalination industries. Financial terms were not disclosed. The combination of the two companies allows the development of strategic, commercial and industrial synergies, Italmatch said. Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:30:00 +0000 CEFIC Sees Modest Growth for 2019 The European Chemical Industry Council, CEFIC, is forecasting modest growth of around 0.5% in 2019, compared to 2018. Marco Mensink, director general of the association representing chemical producers, said CEFIC remains “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for business in 2019. “The forecast 1.5% growth of manufacturing industries should be sufficient to keep demand for chemicals at the same or higher level,” he said. Thu, 13 Dec 2018 07:38:00 +0000 Canada Warns of Talcum Powder Danger Canada’s environment ministry, Environment Canada, has published a warning on dangers it says are associated with using talcum powder. The talc-containing powder can cause ovarian cancer if used on genital and if inhaled can cause respiratory problems such as fibrosis, according to a recently released draft assessment Thu, 13 Dec 2018 04:28:00 +0000 Harke and Hulshof joint forces in the sales of beef proteins Harke FoodTec, a business unit of Harke Pharma and part of the Harke Group in Germany, is now the exclusive distributer of Hulshof Protein Technologies in Europe and Turkey. Harke FoodTec is a specialist in functional ingredients for the meat, fish, poultry, vegetarian and bakery industry and has an European distribution network with own subsidiaries in Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey and United Kingdom. The head office of the Harke Group is in Muelheim an der Ruhr in Germany. Wed, 12 Dec 2018 11:33:00 +0000 Mallinckrodt to Split Into two Parts Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the UK-domiciled, US-focused specialty drugmaker, plans to break up into two differentiated companies, with one focused on innovative specialty pharmaceutical brands, the other on niche specialty generic products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and non-promoted brands. Wed, 12 Dec 2018 09:13:00 +0000 US Judge Rules Against Tronox-Cristal Merger In yet another blow for the proposed Tronox-Cristal titanium dioxide (TiO2) merger, a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) administration law judge has ruled that the deal would substantially lessen competition for the sale of chloride-based pigment. Wed, 12 Dec 2018 07:10:00 +0000 Lonza and GE Healthcare in China Biopharma Pact Swiss-based Lonza is working with GE Healthcare, a General Electric subsidiary, to establish a biologics facility in Guangzhou, China. The deal will give Lonza a strategic base in China to respond to the country’s growing demand for contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services. Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:01:00 +0000 Perstorp Sells Capa Division to Ingevity Sweden’s Perstorp has agreed to sell its Capa caprolactone business to US specialty chemicals and materials manufacturer Ingevity for around €590 million. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 09:26:00 +0000 Gilead Nabs Roche Pharma Chief Gilead Sciences has nabbed Daniel O’Day, head of Roche’s pharma business, as its new chief executive to replace current CEO John Milligan, with effective from March 2019. Both Milligan and Chairman John Martin have announced plans to leave the US drugmaker at the end of 2018. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Sanofi to Slash Jobs In France Sanofi is seeking to cull its workforce as it resets priorities. A French union representative told the news agency Reuters that the drugmaker is targeting 670 “voluntary departures” in particular in its human resources, IT and finance departments. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 06:16:00 +0000 Lanxess Invests in Flame Retardant Base German specialty chemicals producer Lanxess said it plans to invest around €200 million to strengthen its global production base for flame retardants up to 2021. The company runs a heavily backward-integrated production network for bromine and phosphorous-based flame retardants with three plants in the US, two in Germany and one each in France and the UK. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 05:10:00 +0000 SABIC Increases Stake in Ar-Razi SABIC has agreed to increase its stake in the Ar-Razi methanol joint venture with Japan Saudi Arabia Methanol Company (JSMC) and extend the partnership for another 20 years. Under the agreement, SABIC will buy half of JSMC’s current stake (50%) in Ar-Razi for $150 million, giving the companies holdings of 75% and 25% respectively. Mon, 10 Dec 2018 08:57:00 +0000 Cilag and Argenx in Cancer Drug Pact Swiss-based Cilag, an affiliate of Janssen, the pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson, has entered into a global collaboration and license agreement with biotech company argenx to develop and commercialize cusatuzumab, an investigational therapeutic antibody for treating numerous cancers, including hematological malignancies. Mon, 10 Dec 2018 05:28:00 +0000 BASF Cuts 2018 Earnings Outlook Just five weeks after presenting third-quarter financial results and forecasting a slight decline in EBIT before special items for full year 2018 and a little over two weeks after new CEO Martin Brudermüller outlined his forward strategy, BASF has revised its near-term earnings outlook sharply downward. Mon, 10 Dec 2018 05:06:00 +0000 Evonik Hikes US Sodium Methylate Capacity Evonik has announced plans to “significantly” expand sodium methylate capacity at its site in Mobile, Alabama, USA, to meet rising demand. Upon completion, the plant will be capable of producing up to 90,000 t/y. The company did not give current capacity details or an on-stream date. Fri, 07 Dec 2018 09:14:00 +0000 GlaxoSmithKline to Buy Tesaro for $5.1 Billion UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tesaro, a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, for an aggregate cash consideration of approximately $5.1 billion. Fri, 07 Dec 2018 08:06:00 +0000 Covestro Completes Share Buyback A year earlier than planned, German engineering plastics producer Covestro has completed a buyback of company shares worth €1.5 billion, or 10% of its capital stock. The Leverkusen-based former Bayer subsidiary said that the 19.5 million shares repurchased will be retired and the capital reduced accordingly. Fri, 07 Dec 2018 04:49:00 +0000 Japan’s AGC to buy Malgrat Pharma Japan’s AGC, formerly Asahi Glass Co., has agreed to buy Malgrat Pharma Chemicals (MPC), a Spanish subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim that manufactures synthetic pharmaceutical active ingredients for the German group. Financial terms were not disclosed. Thu, 06 Dec 2018 09:32:00 +0000 Takeda and Shire Shareholders Approve Merger Shareholders of Japanese drugmaker Takeda and Netherlands-domiciled, US-managed Shire have separately approved the merger of the two pharmaceutical manufacturers. All regulatory instances have now given the green light. Thu, 06 Dec 2018 07:22:00 +0000 Tronox Seeks Ashtabula Sale to Ineos To address the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) competition concerns over its merger with Saudi Arabia pigment producer Cristal, Tronox wants to sell its titanium dioxide (TiO2) complex in Ashtabula, Ohio, USA, to Ineos for $700 million. Thu, 06 Dec 2018 04:12:00 +0000 Hanwha Total Expands Daesan Complex Hanwha Total Petrochemical, a 50:50 joint venture between French energy and petrochemicals company Total and South Korea’s Hanwha Group, plans to spend nearly $500 million to expand its complex in Daesan, South Korea. The investment at the integrated refining and petrochemical complex will raise PP capacity by nearly 60% to 1.1 million t/y by the end of 2020. At the same time, the company will expand ethylene output by 10% to 1.5 million t/y. Wed, 05 Dec 2018 09:28:00 +0000 FDA Greenlights Bayer-Loxo’s Vitrakvi A new type of cancer treatment developed by a partnership of Bayer with biotech partner Loxo Oncology has won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vitrakvi is recommended for patients whose tumors feature a neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (TRK) gene fusion. The difference between TRK inhibitors and traditional oncology drugs is that the drugs do not target tumors in a particular location but cancers throughout the body that feature a specific biomarker. Wed, 05 Dec 2018 07:45:00 +0000