¿ Peptide Therapeutics Group plc, of Cambridge, UK, said it has completed the sale of its drug discovery division Mimetrix to Medivir AB, of Stockholm, Sweden.

¿ Phytopharm plc, of Godmanchester, UK, has taken a 10 percent stake in a factory in Bangalore, India, where two of its products will be manufactured. The factory will be run by Tumkur Chemical Ltd., an associate of Phytopharm's existing partner Rallis India Ltd. In collaboration with Rallis, Phytopharm has set up plantations in the Bangalore region for growing components of P54, an anti-inflammatory compound, and P56, a treatment for hepatitis and liver disease. Both products are derived from native Indian plants. Phytopharm also has a GMP manufacturing plant in South Africa.

¿ CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc, of Cambridge, England, said it has made significant progress in automating its ion channel technology to allow high-throughput screening, and extended the scope of the service with the acquisition of ExCyte Ltd., a contract molecular biology business. The company has developed techniques to automate patch clamping (the method by which ion channels are currently studied) and said two systems are now in use in its laboratories. It is in discussions with interested parties to work out the best route to exploit the technology. The acquisition terms were not disclosed but it will add more than #250,000 to CeNeS' turnover and enable it to offer services in gene cloning, drug target identification, protein expression and purification.

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