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U.S. chemical giant Dow Chemical (DOW - Analyst Report) has joined forces with leading pharmaceutical drug-delivery research company, Bend Research Inc., to offer drug-solubility solutions and new polymers. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bend Research specializes in the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical technologies. Its leading drug development and delivery technologies include spray-dried dispersion (SDD), controlled-release, inhalation and biotherapeutics technologies.

Under the collaboration, the companies will develop and market SDD solutions which address technology gap in drug manufacturing and delivery. Moreover, they will deliver new polymers having the ability to tailor materials to meet the performance needs of specific drugs. Dow will offer hypromellose and hypromellose acetate succinate to tailor these materials and next-generation cellulosic and noncellulosic polymers for improved performance.

The partnership will bring together Dow’s excipient and materials science expertise, high-throughput synthesis and commercial scale-up capabilities with Bend Research’s SDD screening, formulation, scale-up and technology-transfer capabilities. The collaboration will mitigate drug-development risk by integrating materials development and optimization early in the formulation development process for SDDs to attain optimal clinical results.

Headquartered in Michigan, Dow Chemical is one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the world, offering a range of chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services. It competes with EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD - Analyst Report) among others.

Dow is benefiting from strong fundamentals in agriculture and food markets. The company retains its strategy of growth through joint ventures and acquisitions. A string of innovative products in its pipeline also adds to its strength.

Dow is targeting faster-growing geographies. The company earns two-thirds of its income from outside the U.S. Growth in emerging economies has been especially fast, contributing a meaningful portion of the company’s sales.

However, Dow is contending with soft electronics and construction end-markets and is facing challenges in Western Europe due to the prevailing recessionary conditions.

Dow currently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). We have a long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock.

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