¿ Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., launched the Arabidopsis Genome Array, the company's first GeneChip expression anyalysis product for agricultural research. The array uses the most common model system used by plant biology researchers, and is the result of a collaboration between Affymetrix and the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute.

¿ Alza Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., raised $600 million in a private offering of zero-coupon convertible subordinated debentures due July 28, 2020. The debentures were sold at an issue price of $551.26 per $1,000 principal amount at maturity.

¿ BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, agreed to pay $3.8 million to purchase 396,274 common shares of CliniChem Development Inc. from Glaxo Wellcome Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C. BioChem said the move is a continuance of its previously stated aim of purchasing all the issued and outstanding shares of Class A common stock of CliniChem. BioChem now owns or exercises control over slightly more than 20 percent of CliniChem's outstanding shares.

¿ Cepheid Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., signed a multi-year exclusive agreement with the Biomedical Group of Takara Shuzo Co. Ltd., of Japan, to market the Cepheid Smart Cycler system in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. The rapid thermal cycler incorporates real-time optical detection for DNA amplification and analysis.

¿ Curis Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., has begun operations following the approval by shareholders of Creative BioMolecules Inc. of a merger with two privately held firms, Ontogeny Inc. and Reprogenesis Inc. Curis shares will begin trading today under the symbol CRIS on the Nasdaq National Stock Market. The merged company is expected to have a market capitalization of about $760 million. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 16, 2000.)

¿ Genomics One Corp., of Laval, Quebec, completed the $3.1 million acquisition of the Bio/Can group of companies. The transaction included a $1 million cash payment and 140,066 shares of Genomics One capital stock at $15.05 per share. The Bio/Can group, of Mississasauga, Ontario, supplies biotechnology products in Canada and the United States.

¿ Genzyme Molecular Oncology Inc., of Framingham, Mass., said NeuralStem Biopharmaceuticals, of College Park, Md., has licensed Genzyme's Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) technology for evaluation of global gene expression of NeuralStem's proprietary human central nervous system cells. Genzyme will receive an undisclosed payment and additional fees upon transfer of NeuralStem SAGE data to third parties.

¿ Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., launched Incyte.com, an Internet genomics resource that will include LifeSeq Public, a database of more than 1.4 million human gene sequences. Plans for the site include expanded query capabilities and collaborative tools, as well as intelligent gene-seeking agents. In separate news, Incyte said it entered a collaboration with Elitra Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, which acquired a license to use Incyte's PathoSeq microbial sequence database as a platform for functional genomics programs. Elitra will also have the right to market and sell the database to third parties in collaboration with Incyte.

¿ Proneuron Biotechnologies, of Ness-Ziona, Israel, initiated enrollment in a Phase I study of the safety of autologous activated macrophage therapy in spinal cord injury patients. Proneuron Biotechnologies develops therapeutic products for treatment of acute and chronic nervous system diseases.

¿ SciClone Pharmaceuticals, of San Mateo, Calif., reported the publication in Cancer Letters of results from a National Institutes of Health preclinical study indicating that Zadaxin immunotherapy may decrease formation of lung tumors in a mouse model of urethane-induced tumor carcinogenesis.

¿ Scios Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif. completed enrollment in a Phase III clinical trial of Natrecor for the treatment of accute congestive heart failure. The 480-patient trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Natrecor in patients with shortness of breath due to congestive heart failure.

¿ Select Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. , achieved two milestones in the development of technology to activate dendritic cells. The company has demonstrated a method for linking antigens to the antigen carrier that binds to specific dendritic cell receptors. A second milestone was reached when The Journal of Immunology accepted a manuscript describing the molecular basis of the dendritic activation technology.

¿ Serono SA, of Geneva, Switzerland, said underwriter Merrill Lynch will exercise its overallotment option related to Serono's $1.8 billion global offering priced last week. The buy is expected to net the company $88.9 million above the offering proceeds. Serono markets four recombinant products and is developing six more.

¿ Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Washington, settled all claims in the securities class action lawsuit filed against the company. Sonus develops ultrasound contrast agents and drug delivery systems for the treatment of heart disease and cancer.

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