• 4SC AG, of Martinsried, Germany, won a €2.2 million grant from the European Union to lead a consortium that will identify and develop drugs to combat Staphylococcus aureus infections. The EU is concerned about the increasing drug resistance of S. aureus. The project will involve researchers at the universities of Lund and Goteborg in Sweden, the Jegiellonian University of Krakow, Poland, and additional institutions in England, Ireland and Poland. The researchers will be looking for small-molecule inhibitors of novel targets on S. aureus. 4SC focuses on infectious and hyperproliferative diseases. It was founded in 1997 and has close to 100 employees.

• Actelion Ltd., of Basel Switzerland, appointed Andrew Oakley as chief financial officer. He will succeed André Mueller as of Jan. 2. Mueller will remain actively engaged in the management team until the spring, when he will concentrate on his responsibilities on the board.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, said it signed an agreement with fellow Dutch firm DSM Biologics, of Heerlen, to develop and market biopharmaceutical manufacturing technology based on Crucell's PER.C6 human cell line. DSM Biologics is licensing the PER.C6 platform and will be entitled to sublicense it to third party firms for production of biopharmaceutical proteins. In addition, the companies are commencing a joint development program for large-scale manufacturing of recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies.

• Ireland and China signed a research collaboration agreement and have committed a combined €1 million for supporting research exchanges in the areas of biotechnology and information technology. The four-year agreement takes effect Jan. 1. It was signed last week by William Harris, director general of the research agency Science Foundation Ireland, and by China's ambassador to Dublin, Sha Hailin.

• Pharming Group NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, said it promoted Samir Singh to the position of vice president and managing director, U.S. Singh will continue to hold his current responsibilities for business development, corporate communications and investor relations, but will also pursue new opportunities in the U.S. Pharming, which specializes in the production of therapeutic proteins from the milk of transgenic animals, also named Bertjan Ziere as director of R&D and Mourad Salaheddine as director of animal health and production. In addition, John Pieters, former president and CEO of the French subsidiary of Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., is joining its board.