Arrowhead Research Corporation announced today that its majority-owned subsidiary, Unidym, Inc., has closed the merger with Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. The combined company, which will operate under the Unidym name, has the dominant portfolio of carbon nanotube-related patents and is one of the largest manufacturers of carbon nanotubes in the world. The merger positions the company as a leader in bringing carbon nanotube-based products to market.
“In addition to integrating the operations of the two companies, our priority over the coming months will be developing strategic partnerships and the licensing program,” said R. Bruce Stewart, Arrowhead’s Chairman. “We expect the merger to stimulate increased interest in carbon nanotube technology.”
CNI was founded in 2000 by the late Rice University professor Richard Smalley, who received the Nobel Prize for his work in carbon nanotubes. His pioneering work led to a suite of patents that covers technologies being used today to develop nanotube-based products. CNI has more than 100 patents (including 54 issued U.S. patents) and patent applications covering compositions of matter, methods of manufacturing, processing and products incorporating carbon nanotubes, with over 5,000 claims in various stages of prosecution.
Unidym is developing carbon nanotube-based products for the electronics industry. The company’s first product is a transparent electrode that is intended to replace the indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes in products such as flat-panel displays used in televisions, laptop computers, mobile phones and touch screens, solar cells, and solid state lighting. The total existing market for this product is approximately $1 billion. Unidym has already provided samples to potential customers in each of its target industries. Unidym’s second product is a carbon nanotube-based thin film transistor (TFT) intended for the emerging flexible (also known as printable) electronics industry.
Under the terms of the deal, Arrowhead transferred to the combined company its sponsored research agreements with Duke University and the University of Florida, as well as accelerated an additional capital contribution of $4 million. Arrowhead maintains majority-ownership of Unidym.