en Wacker Buys Dutch Biotechnology Plant With the takeover of SynCo Bio Partners of Amsterdam from SynCo Bio Luxembourg, Germany’s Wacker Chemie has acquired a Dutch manufacturing site for biopharmaceuticals, live microbial products and vaccines, along with the associated business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wacker plans to maintain SynCo’s existing customer relationships and the company’s 110 employees. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:08:00 +0000 Merck Sells Consumer Health to P&G Germany’s Merck KGaA has signed an agreement to sell its global consumer health business to Procter & Gamble (P&G) for around €3.4 billion, or $4.2 billion, in cash. The acquisition is said to be one of the biggest that P&G has done in recent years. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:14:00 +0000 Plastic-eating Enzyme May Solve Waste Problem An incidental find by a joint UK and US research team could have the potential to revolutionize plastics recycling and possibly ease the increasing burden of waste in the environment. While tweaking the structure of PETase, a recently discovered enzyme, John McGeehan, a professor at Portsmouth University in England, and Gregg Beckham of the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), accidentally created a mutant enzyme that they say is better at breaking down the ubiquitous bottle polymer than PETase. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 02:57:00 +0000 DSM Dyneema Ends Patent Dispute with FMS DSM Dyneema has concluded a dispute with Israeli firm FMS Enterprises Migun (FMS) relating to the infringement and validity of the Dutch company’s patents for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). Details of the agreement were not disclosed This is the final step in a series of disputes between the two, including earlier unsuccessful attempts by FMS to challenge the validity of DSM Dyneema’s patent on an improved UHMWPE. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:47:00 +0000 Air Liquide and Covestro in Hydrogen Pact Air Liquide has signed a long-term contract to supply hydrogen to Covestro’s production site in the port area of Antwerp, Belgium. The French industrial gases group will invest €80 million to build a new generation steam methane reformer, SMR-X, based upon its proprietary technology. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:21:00 +0000 GSK and Novartis Join Anti-Malaria Effort European drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline of the UK and Novartis of Switzerland have agreed to contribute to a nearly $4 billion global research effort to fight drug-resistant strains of malaria. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 02:30:00 +0000 Shire Sells Oncology Unit to Servier for $2.4 Billion Ireland-based drugs giant Shire is selling its oncology business to France’s Servier in a deal worth $2.4 billion. The sale comes just as Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical was reported to be seeking funds and preparing a takeover bid for Shire. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:02:00 +0000 Cepsa Upgrades San Roque LAB Plant Spanish energy and chemicals company Cepsa has announced plans to spend €100 million to upgrade and expand capacity of linear alkylbenzene (LAB) at its Puente Mayorga plant in San Roque, Cadiz. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:00:00 +0000 Sanofi and Advent in Talks Over Generics French drugmaker Sanofi has confirmed market speculation that it is talking to Advent International about a sale of its European generics division, which trades as Zentiva. The company announced on Apr. 16 that the two sides have entered exclusive negotiations with the private equity investor, which has made a bid of €1.9 billion ($2.5 billion) Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:47:00 +0000 Mitsui Chemicals Builds Elastomers Plant in USA Mitsui Chemicals America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals, has announced plans to build a new production facility for its Milastomer thermoplastic olefin elastomer. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:23:00 +0000 Lonza Dedicates US Gene Therapy Center Swiss fine chemicals producer and pharmaceutical industry supplier Lonza has opened what it said is the world's largest dedicated cell and gene therapy center at  Pearland, near Houston, in the US state of Texas. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:17:00 +0000 Evonik Expanding Crosslinker Capacity German specialty chemicals producer Evonik is expanding its production capacity for methacrylate crosslinkers, sold under the Visiomer brand name, at its US complex in Mobile, Alabama.  It said it is investing a “low single-digit million euro sum in the expansion, which is scheduled to be in place by this year’s third quarter. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 05:05:00 +0000 Alexion to Buy Wilson Therapeutics for $855 Million US drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals has offered to buy Sweden’s Wilson Therapeutics in a deal worth approximately $855 million. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:07:00 +0000 Aramco Signs Deal for Indian Petchems Complex Just a day after signing a major deal with Total for a giant petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco has inked another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, this time on the west coast of India. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 Pipeline Outage Halts US Ethane Shipments Mariner East 1, the main artery for shipping shale gas-derived ethane to the Marcus Hook terminal in Pennsylvania for transport to Europe – and potentially to points beyond –may not reopen in the near future, latest reports suggest. The 300-mile pipeline closed temporarily on Mar. 7 after three large sinkholes were discovered near the drilling site for an adjacent pipeline, Mariner East 2. The shutdown was later extended. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 02:47:00 +0000 Kemira Expands Chlor-alkali Capacity Kemira has announced plans to invest a multi-million euro sum to expand production of chlor-alkali at its site in Joutseno, Finland. The additional capacity is expected to be operational during the fourth quarter of 2018 and will, said Kemira, meet the country’s growing need for caustic soda. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 11:19:00 +0000 Sanofi Plans €350m Vaccine Plant in Canada French drugmaker Sanofi plans to build a new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility at the Canadian headquarters of its vaccines global business unit Sanofi Pasteur in Toronto, Ontario, at a cost of €250 million. The company said the investment bolsters its operations in Canada and underscores its commitment to advancing public health around the world. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:10:00 +0000 BASF Starts Polyarylsulfone Plant in Korea BASF has started up a new 6,000 t/y production line for its high-temperature resistant plastic polyarylsulfone – part of its range of polyethersulfone products – at Yeosu, Korea. With the start-up, the German group’s capacity for the polymer sold under the Ultrason brand name will increase to 12,000 t/y in Korea and 24,000 t/y altogether. The Yeosu facility went on stream in in 2014. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 05:01:00 +0000 WorleyParsons Takes M+W Group’s German Sites Australian engineering group WorleyParsons has completed the acquisition of the Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide offices of Germany’s M+W Group. Financial terms were not disclosed but WorleyParsons said it used existing funds to finance the deal. The businesses acquired provide services including feasibility studies, concept development, engineering, project and construction management to chemical companies located in Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide. Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:31:00 +0000 Total and Aramco Plan Saudi Petchems Complex Total and Saudi Aramco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The MoU was signed during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official visit to France, following his multi-week tour of the US. Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:25:00 +0000 Brussels Pushes for UK Environment Compliance The European Union is leaning on the government of the UK not to lower its environmental protection standards after quitting the EU in March 2019. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, this week called for a non-regression clause to be anchored in the treaty regulating relations between London and the 27 remaining countries member states following the UK’s exit. Thu, 12 Apr 2018 05:10:00 +0000 Borealis studies EVA/LDPE Plant in China Vienna-based olefins and polyolefins major Borealis is conducting a feasibility study for an advanced EVA/LDPE plant in China, which would supply specialty applications. Preferred location for the facility is the national petrochemicals park at Dayabay, Huizhou, Guangdong, a center of the Chinese plastics processing industry. Wed, 11 Apr 2018 13:42:00 +0000 DowDuPont to Upgrade Orange County Plant DowDuPont has announced plans to invest approximately $100 million over the next two years to modernize and expand capacity at its Sabine River Works plant in Orange County, Texas, USA. A series of investments will incrementally expand capacity for the specialty materials produced at the facility, including Surlyn ionomer resins; Nucrel ethylene acrylic acid and methacrylic acid copolymer resins; Fusabond modified polymers and Vamac ethylene acrylic elastomers. Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:35:00 +0000 Novartis to Buy AveXis for $8.7 Billion In an all-cash deal expected to close in the second half of this year, Swiss drugs giant Novartis has agreed to pay $8.7 billion for AveXis, a US-based clinical stage gene therapy company. Novartis’ new CEO, Vas Narasimhan, said the $218-per-share offer presents an “extraordinary opportunity” to transform the care of SMA, an inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by a defect in a single gene, the survival motor neuron SMNI. Wed, 11 Apr 2018 05:23:00 +0000 Motiva Mulls US Petrochemicals Projects Motiva Enterprises, wholly owned by affiliates of Saudi Aramco, has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) – said to be worth between $8-10 billion – with TechnipFMC and Honeywell UOP to study potential petrochemical projects in the US using each company’s technology. Tue, 10 Apr 2018 12:51:00 +0000