Categories: The Commercial Chemist | No Comments
Tobacco firms to report cigarette chemicals – Dow to cut 900 jobs – And Valeant moves to Montreal
CHEMICAL – Tobacco companies will have to report the amounts of harmful chemicals in their products under draft guidelines produced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are more than 7000 chemicals in tobacco and tobacco smoke but the FDA has drawn up a list of 93 harmful or potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) that tobacco companies will have to report for every tobacco product sold in the US. The FDA says that the move will help to ‘prevent misleading marketing about the risks associated with tobacco products’. In addition, the FDA has produced draft guidelines for how companies can advertise tobacco products designed to be less harmful than conventional equivalents. Initially, reporting will focus on 20 HPHCs for which testing methods are accessible and well established, including benzene, toluene and formaldehyde. The FDA will make the information available to the public by April 2013.
CHEMICAL – Dow has announced plans to close four plants, idle one plant and ditch 900 jobs in order to cut annual costs by $250 million (£160 million). Over the next two years, the company will close its plants at Estarreja in Portugal, Balatonfuzfo in Hungary and Charleston in Illinois, all of which make Styrofoam insulation products, plus its toluene di-isocyanate plant in Camaçari, Brazil. In addition, it will idle its plant in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. The move will cost Dow $350 million in the short term. Chair and chief executive Andrew Liveris blamed ‘changing and volatile economic conditions’, highlighting Western Europe in particular.
CHEMICAL – Swiss chemical company Clariant has opened a new plant in Canada for producing battery materials. Specifically, the plant will produce carbon coated lithium iron phosphate, an energy storage material used in modern batteries for a range of applications including electric vehicles. The move will create more than 50 new jobs in Quebec.
PHARMACEUTICAL – AstraZeneca has signed a deal with US biotech Amgen for access to five monoclonal antibodies for treating inflammation (AMG 139, AMG 157, AMG 181, AMG 557 and brodalumab – also known as AMG 827). The deal will cost AstraZeneca $50 million upfront. Then from 2012 to 2014, the company will pay 65% of costs. After that, the companies will split costs equally.
PHARMACEUTICAL – Swiss pharma company Roche is struggling to get its hands on Illumina, the gene sequencing company it made a $5.7 billion hostile bid for back in January. Since then, it has upped the bid 18% to $6.7 billion, but the Illumina board has held firm. Roche has now sent a second letter direct to shareholders encouraging them to tender their shares and vote in as board members a group of candidates nominated by Roche. Illumina is one of the forerunners in the race to technology that would enable an entire genome to be sequenced in just one day.
PHARMACEUTICAL – Canadian pharma company Valeant is planning to move its global headquarters from Mississauga, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. In addition, the company says that it will establish an R&D centre for consumer dermatology in Laval, Quebec. The move will make Valeant the only big pharma company to have its global headquarters in Quebec.