CHEMICAL BRIEFS

CHEMICAL BRIEFS

PFIZER UNVEILS ANTIBIOTIC

AND ANTIDEPRESSANTPfizer Inc. recently introduced a once-daily antidepressant, Zoloft, and is set to launch a new antibiotic, Zithromax, this month.

Zoloft, the newest in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, is effective in relieving the debilitating symptoms of depression, Pfizer said.

Zithromax was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of pneumonia, skin infections and chlamydial infections.

William C. Steere Jr., president, said 1992 prices of Pfizer's prescription medicines sold in the United States would not increase more than 4 percent.

The company reported sales of more than $6.95 billion for 1991.

PRETAX PROFIT DOWN

AT SUMITOMO CHEMICAL

TOKYO - Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Co. said it suffered declines in consolidated profits in 1991, due mainly to an economic slowdown that began toward the end of the year.

The Osaka-based chemical manufacturer said net income fell 12.1 percent

from a year earlier to 20.13 billion yen, down from 22.89 billion yen.

Consolidated sales grew 1.6 percent to 1,085.2 billion yen but pretax profits plummeted 30.3 percent to 33.69 billion yen, the company said.

The company said its sales overseas grew slightly despite the yen's recent appreciation, due to the acquisition of a U.S. farm chemical manufacturer, Valent USA Corp.

FMC CORP. TO ACQUIRE

CIBA-GEIGY BUSINESSES

CHICAGO - FMC Corp. has completed its transaction to acquire the flame retardants and fluids, and water treatment chemicals businesses of Ciba-Geigy Corp.'s additives division.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed; however, FMC noted that 1991 sales of the acquired businesses were about $150 million.

FMC said it would operate the businesses in Trafford Park, Manchester, England, as the Process Additives Division of its Chemical Products Group, and that plans no major personnel changes.

ETHYLENE OUTPUT ROSE

FOR JAPAN IN JANUARY

TOKYO - Japan's ethylene production totaled 561,300 metric tons in January, up 2 percent from a year ago, Japan's Petrochemical Industry Association said Monday.

Aromatics production also rose in January. Japanese companies produced 329,400 metric tons of benzene, up 13 percent from a year ago, 107,700 of toluene, up 16 percent, and 309,200 of xylene, up 31 percent.

Production of polymers fell due to high inventories and slow sales. Japanese companies produced 154,800 metric tons of low-density polyethylene and 103,700 of high-density polyethylene in January, both down 2 percent from a year ago.

They also produced 186,400 metric tons of polypropylene, down 3 percent.

W.R. GRACE INCREASES

PRICES OF AMPRO-95

LEXINGTON, Mass. - W.R. Grace Co.'s organic chemicals division said it was raising the price of its nitroparaffin derivatives, AmPro-95, by 4 cents a pound, effective April 1. The truckload price will be $1.30 a pound, and the

bulk price will be $1.24 a pound, both free on board, warehouse.

IMCERA AND HERCULES

FORM FLAVOR COMPANY

NORTHBROOK, Ill. - Imcera Group Inc. and Hercules Inc. said they have formed the fifth-largest flavors company in the world by combining the Fries & Fries Inc. flavors unit of Imcera's Mallinckrodt Specialty Chemicals Co. and Hercules' PFW Flavors and Citrus Specialties businesses.

The two companies announced in December 1991 their agreement to form the 50/50 joint venture partnership.

Flavors industry sales worldwide are estimated at $2.6 billion.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, the new company will continue to operate under the names of Fries & Fries, PFW Flavors and Hercules Citrus Specialties until a new name is approved.