• Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., placed 8 million shares of common stock with institutional investors at about $1.14 per share, raising about $9.1 million in a registered direct offering. Aastrom also will issue warrants to purchasers, exercisable for five years, to buy up to 2.4 million shares of common stock at $1.42 apiece. The company could require the exercise before the expiration date. If exercised, Aastrom could gather more than $3.4 million. Jesup & Lamont Securities Corp. is the placement agent for the transaction.

• Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said its new GeneChip Mapping 100K Array Set is available through an early technology-access program. The set can genotype more than 100,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms and should enable scientists to begin large-scale whole-genome association studies. Affymetrix plans to launch the product this summer.

• Applied Biosystems Group, of Foster City, Calif., an Applera Corp. business, said the Applera board authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million in additional Applera/Applied Biosystems common stock. The authorization follows the repurchase of $200 million (8.9 million shares) of Applera/Applied Biosystems stock during fiscal 2004.

• Ciphergen Biosystems Inc., of Fremont, Calif., in conjunction with Salford Systems, of San Diego, reported the release of Biomarker Patterns Software 5.0 for elucidation of clinically relevant protein patterns. Ciphergen and Salford collaborated to create the system by modifying and enhancing Salford's existing CART technology, they said.

• Cognitive Drug Research Ltd., of Goring-on-Thames, UK, reported the availability of the CDRSystem for multiple sclerosis. The system is specific to areas of cognitive function impairment in MS, and a single-test session typically lasts about 30 minutes, it said. The system is automated and the computer controls stimuli presentation, automatically captures data and prepares the data for processing.

• Cosmix Molecular Biologicals GmbH, of Braunschweig, Germany, said it acquired nonexclusive rights to an mRNA peptide display technology useful for the discovery of peptides with high affinity for selected targets. The technology, sometimes called the PROfusion technology, was licensed from Phylos Inc., of Lexington, Mass., by Gryphon Therapeutics, an affiliate of Cosmix. The Cosmix team has been expanded to include scientists experienced in the application of the technology. Cosmix is focused on peptides for applications in health care, research and industry.

• Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said it renewed its agreement with Sankyo Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, to use certain components of Gene Logic's information services as part of Sankyo's programs. The companies established the agreement in April 2001. With the renewal, Sankyo gains access to focused data sets related to core areas of Sankyo's research efforts. Sankyo has opted for more focused access to a specific ToxSuite and a Custom BioExpress Suite. Financial details were not disclosed.

• InSite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., said its independent auditors expressed a doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern, citing its recurring operating losses. The auditor report was included in the company's annual report filed with the SEC. As previously announced, InSite Vision received last month about $1.8 million from the initial closing of a private placement for $16.5 million. Whether it will be able to receive the remainder of the funds is subject to a June vote of stockholders to increase the authorized number of outstanding shares of InSite's common stock and to approve the terms and other standard conditions of the transaction under American Stock Exchange rules. If the company gains stockholder approval and raises the remaining funds, it expects to have enough funds to take it through the third quarter of 2005.

• Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., and Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp., of West Haven, Conn., announced that BAY 43-9006 was granted fast-track status by the FDA. The compound is being evaluated for the treatment of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma and advanced kidney cancer and is in Phase III testing. A vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor and RAF kinase, the compound is designed to prevent tumor growth by inhibiting tumor-cell proliferation and angiogenesis. BAY 43-9006 is being co-developed by Onyx and Bayer.

• ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., of Montreal, said Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technology Inc. confirmed that treatment of TSE-spiked red-blood-cell concentrate with its prion-reduction device results in a significant decrease in associated infectivity. The product, aimed at filtration of donor blood supplies on-site at blood transfusion centers, reduces the possible transmission of the fatal variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technology is a joint venture between ProMetic and the American Red Cross.

• Scolr Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., reported its intention to use its CDT Platform to independently develop a select portfolio of controlled-release solid oral medications for over-the-counter and pharmaceutical markets as part of its evolution as a specialty pharmaceutical/drug delivery company. A 12-hour CDT formulation of ibuprofen is the first compound specifically targeted for independent development by Scolr. In addition to targeting the pain relief market, Scolr has completed preclinical feasibility work for drug formulations with potential application to the cardiovascular and cough-cold markets.

• Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., entered purchase agreements for the issuance and sale of $20 million in convertible promissory notes and common stock purchase warrants. The notes, which will be convertible at market price upon their issuance, were placed with a group of new and returning institutional investors. The $20 million purchase price for notes and warrants was placed in escrow pending satisfaction of all conditions precedent to closing, including receipt of stockholder approval for the sale of the notes and warrants, as well as for a reverse split of Viragen's common stock. The proceeds would be used to progress the research, development and commercialization of Viragen's health care products and technologies, including an allocation to fund clinical studies for the FDA approval of Multiferon, its natural human alpha-interferon, which is approved for sale in certain international markets.

• Xechem International Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., agreed to finance its subsidiary Ceptor Corp. Ceptor will receive bridge funding within the next month, then an additional third-party equity investment. Xechem retains a majority share in Ceptor, but a portion of its stake will be redeemed ratably over time for an aggregate of $2 million, or 25 percent of capital raised by Ceptor. Xechem will get an ongoing 2 percent royalty of all revenues generated by Ceptor from its products using its neurodegenerative and neuromuscular technology. William Pursley will step down as an officer and director of Xechem to become Ceptor's CEO and chairman. Xechem also reported a deal with Alembic Ltd., based in India, to bring Nicosan/Hemoxin to market for sickle cell disease within 12 months. Alembic will provide Xechem a $3.6 million cash infusion of equity and convertible debt, and will hold a 15 percent interest in Xechem's Nigerian subsidiary, which will handle production and distribution in Nigeria. Alembic has first refusal rights for distribution in Africa and India.

• Xenon Genetics Inc., of Burnaby, British Columbia, said a study in the online version of the American Journal of Human Genetics reports that Xenon researchers discovered a gene related to peripheral neuropathy, or nerve degradation. Xenon's team identified the gene linked to hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy Type II, which can result in sensory impairment as a result of nerve fiber loss. Cloned and validated in families with the disease in Eastern Canada, the gene might play a role in the development and maintenance of peripheral sensory neurons or their supporting cells, the company said.

• ZymoGenetics Inc., of Seattle, plans to begin a Phase I study of interleukin 21, a recombinant human protein being developed to treat metastatic melanoma and renal-cell carcinoma. The company expects to open enrollment and begin treating patients within the next several months. There are about 80,000 new cases of melanoma and 100,000 new cases of renal-cell carcinoma per year worldwide. The company also might pursue further indications for IL-21, such as lung, colon or breast cancer.