Arrowhead Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ARWR) announced today that its majority owned subsidiary, Unidym, Inc., has closed its Houston, Texas operation in order to consolidate its carbon nanotube (CNT) production capabilities with the rest of its operations in California's Silicon Valley. This move was the latest in a series of steps taken to improve efficiencies implemented by Unidym's newly appointed chief executive officer, Mark Tilley, Ph.D., who also serves as Arrowhead's Vice President of Advanced Materials.
"Unidym has built what we believe to be a dominant position in high value CNTs for electronics and energy applications by rolling up foundational technologies from over a dozen institutions and acquiring three companies," said Dr. Christopher Anzalone, Arrowhead's chief executive officer. "A challenge for this type of roll-up is integration, and consolidating CNT production in California represents the completion of Unidym's integration of Houston-based Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., which was acquired in 2007."
As part of the consolidation, Unidym is also sharpening its focus to better serve its ongoing joint development agreements with touch panel and LCD manufacturers. Unidym's CNT production efforts are now aimed solely at producing the proprietary high grade of material needed for its CNT inks and films for the electronic industry. Unidym is expanding its licensing program to extract value from production of other grades of CNTs for non-core markets.
"Although the timing of the plant closure was based on the expiration of our facility sublease, the decision to consolidate in the Valley is driven by longer term considerations including integration of our business development, R&D and production teams in the same location during our commercial ramp up and an improved cost structure," Dr. Tilley said.
Unidym is a leader in carbon nanotube-based transparent, conductive films (TCFs) for the electronics industry. TCFs are a critical component in devices such as touch panels, displays, and thin-film solar cells. For example, both touch panels and LCDs typically employ two TCF layers per device. Unidym's TCFs offer substantial advantages over the incumbent technology, indium-based metal oxides, including: improved durability, lower processing costs, and lower overall cost structure.