26 June 2006 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Researchers at the University of Florence, Italy, have discovered a new form of solid carbon dioxide that promises to be useful for making ultra-hard glass or coatings for microelectronic devices. Quite different from the ‘dry ice’ used to produce smoke for stage shows, amorphous carbonia (a-CO2) is more like window glass in its atomic-scale structure. It is created by squeezing dry ice at between 400 000 and 500 000 atmospheres pressure. Researchers hope that it could also give them clues about what happens in the centre of huge gas giant planets like Jupiter.
Nicholas Piramal (NPIL), India, has announced plans to acquire Pfizer’s manufacturing facility in Morpeth, UK. Financial terms were not disclosed, but this will be NPIL’s third acquisition in the UK after its acquisition of Rhodia’s inhalation anaesthetics business in 2004, and Avecia’s custom-manufacturing business last year. The firm claims that the buy will make it a top-10 pharmaceutical custom manufacturing company, with annual revenues expected to exceed $200m.
A three-year study of Eli Lilly drug Arxxant has found it can help diabetes patients from losing their sight. Data from Phase III trials showed that the drug reduced the risk of moderate vision loss by 41%, when compared with placebo in patients with moderate to severe diabetic retinopathy. The drug could potentially become the first oral therapy aimed at reducing the risk of vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy, says Lilly.
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