¿ CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc, of Cambridge, UK, which specializes in central nervous system diseases, is raising #7.4 million (US$10.4 million) by the issue of 9 million new shares at 82 pence per share, to pay for the rights to three pharmaceutical products it is acquiring from Glaxo Wellcome plc. The shares closed at 88.5 pence on Sept. 12, when the placing was announced. Dan Roach, CEO of CeNeS, said the fund raising would strengthen the company's financial position as it builds a UK pharmaceutical business.

¿ European Union officials last week named Ruud Lubbers, former prime minister of the Netherlands, as European co-chair of the EU-U.S. Biotechnology Consultative Forum - the day the forum held its first meeting. Lubbers also is professor of globalization at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. The forum was established as part of the follow-up to the EU-U.S. Transatlantic Dialogue, in the wake of the Lisbon EU-U.S. summit on May 31. It brings together 20 eminent independent experts from a wide spectrum of perspectives, to discuss the broad range issues of concern in biotechnology in the European Union and United States.

¿ Lion Bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, said it would integrate the StackPack clustering and analysis tool from South African firm Electric Genetics (pty) Ltd., of Cape Town, with its SRS data integration platform. The combination, according to Lion, will create a more powerful and user-friendly tool for expressed sequence tags clustering and expression variation analysis, which is used for characterizing and understanding tissue-specific gene regulation.

¿ MediGene AG, of Martinsried, Germany, said it entered its second bioinformatics agreement, with Compugen Inc., a subsidiary of the Israeli firm Compugen Ltd., of Tel Aviv, to accelerate development of its candidate treatments for cardiac disease. MediGene will use Compugen's Leads bioinformatics platform and associated technologies to analyze selected genes derived from its Integrated Target Definition program for cardiac disease and to identify potential new targets based on analysis of disease-associated sequence fragments. MediGene entered an alliance with Swiss bioinformatics firm GeneData AG in July, a company also focused on heart disease.

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