¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split, which will be effected in the form of a stock dividend and will entitle each shareholder of record at the close of business on June 19 to receive one share of common stock for every share held. As of June 8, the company had about 40.3 million shares outstanding. It will have about 80.6 million upon completion of the split.

¿ Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said a Phase II dose frequency study of AC2993 (synthetic exendin-4) for diabetes showed positive results. Administered at different frequencies, the compound lowered blood glucose levels. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 12 subjects with Type II diabetes who received a daily dose totaling 0.2 micrograms per kilogram with injection frequencies of one, two and four times a day.

¿ Athersys Inc., of Cleveland, entered an agreement with a subsidiary of Covance Inc., of Princeton, N.J., for the manufacture of a therapeutic protein developed with Athersys' RAGE (random activation of gene expression) technology. The agreement provides for Covance to produce bulk product for preclinical and clinical studies at a facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

¿ British Biotech plc, of Oxford, England, is cutting its staff from 230 to 140 in order to generate annualized cost savings of about US$12.6 million. The company has six products in development and retains a core research capability targeting metalloenzymes. In January, the company's oral anticancer drug marimastat, partnered with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., failed to increase survival in a pivotal Phase III trial in advanced pancreatic cancer. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 26, 2000, p. 4.)

¿ CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newtown, Pa., signed agreements for the marketing and distribution of Periostat in Austria and Switzerland. The agreement for Austria is with Willvonseder & Marchesani GmbH & Co. KG, of Vienna, Austria. The agreement for Switzerland is with Zurich-based Karr Dental Ltd. Financial details were not disclosed.

¿ Enchira Biotechnology Corp., of The Woodlands, Texas, received an official notice from the U.S. Department of Energy to proceed with the third year of a three-year program to conduct research and development of biodesulfurization of gasoline feedstocks. The company, which this week changed its name from Energy BioSystems, will receive a $900,000 grant to continue the program.

¿ Hemosol Inc., of Toronto, said it issued 159,000 shares at a price of C$19 (US$12.90) per share for gross proceeds of about C$3 million (US$2.03 million). The stock issue stems from the exercise of an overallotment option granted to a syndicate of underwriters as part of an equity financing that closed in April.