• Aeolus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received a $350,000 milestone payment and equity consideration from ARCA Discovery Inc., of Denver, which licensed all rights to bucindolol in 2003 from CPEC LLC, a limited liability company owned by Aeolus and Lexington, Mass.-based Indevus Pharmaceuticals Inc. The payment was triggered by ARCA receiving its investment funding. ARCA closed a $15 million Series A earlier this month. (See BioWorld Today, March 6, 2006.)

• Berlex Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Berlin-based Schering AG, entered a license deal with GeneGo Inc., of St. Joseph, Mich., for the latter’s MetaCore platform for analysis of gene expression, proteomic, metabolic and other high-throughput data in multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, and in diagnostic applications. Terms were not disclosed.

• Genta Inc., of Berkeley Heights, N.J., closed its previously announced offering of 19 million shares for gross proceeds totaling about $40.8 million. Genta is developing Genasense (oblimersen sodium) injection to treat patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia. (See BioWorld Today, March 8, 2006.)

• OriGene Technologies Inc., of Rockville, Md., said Bayer Healthcare AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, acquired access to its collection of authentic full-length cDNA clones. OriGene’s cDNA clones are expression-ready, full-length cDNA plasmids for use in target and lead identification and validation. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Schering AG, of Berlin, watched its stock climb 24 percent on news that Darmstadt, Germany-based Merck KGaA was planning to make a $17.4 billion bid for the company. Schering confirmed that Merck representatives announced intentions to make an all-cash offer at €77 (US$92.10) per share, and added that the offer "significantly undervalues" the company. Schering also confirmed that Merck’s approach is unsolicited and that no negotiations are ongoing. The company’s shares, listed on the Berlin stock exchange under "SCHA," gained €16 Monday to close at €83.

• Sinovac Biotech Ltd., of Beijing, entered a deal with LG Life Sciences Ltd., of Seoul, South Korea, under which Sinovac will act as LGLS’s exclusive distributor for its hepatitis B vaccine in the Peoples Republic of China. In February, LGL and partner Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, reported strong data from a Phase II trial with ANA380 against chronic hepatitis B virus, a compound for which Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG holds a license option. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 16, 2006.)

• ViaCell Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said preclinical findings evaluated unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSCs) - pluripotent stem cells cultivated from human cord blood - showed a dose-dependent response and result in functional recovery in an animal model of acute myocardial infarction four weeks post transplantation. The data were presented at the 2006 American College of Cardiology meeting in Atlanta.

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