¿ Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco, described the discovery of a gene functionally related to the human tumor suppressor gene p53, in the current issue of Cell. The paper establishes the fruit fly Drosophila as an ideal model system to study the function of human p53. This has significance in the study of cancer and cancer treatments because more than 50 percent of human cancers contain a p53 mutation, the company said.

¿ Immtech International Inc., of Vernon Hills, Ill., started trading on Nasdaq Friday under the ticker symbol IMMT.

¿ Incara Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., acquired the remaining interests of its previously majority-owned subsidiaries, Renaissance Cell Technologies Inc. and Aeolus Pharmaceuticals Inc., in exchange for Incara common stock. Incara previously owned 78 percent of Renaissance and 66 percent of Aeolus. Incara issued about 1.2 million new shares for the minority ownership. There are now 7.1 million shares outstanding.

¿ North American Vaccine Inc., of Columbia, Md., said it was continuing discussions with Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter International Inc. in connection with their proposed merger. Baxter proposed that the parties modify the existing share exchange agreement based on concerns that include the company's failure to complete manufacturing of a two-month supply of NeisVac-C, a group C meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and obtain UK regulatory approval of it prior to the specified April 1 deadline. North American Vaccine said its board of directors is considering its options. Baxter had proposed acquiring North American Vaccine for $390 million. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 19, 1999, p. 1.)

¿ North American Vaccine Inc., of Columbia, Md., settled a law suit brought by Sharon Mates, the company's former president. Terms are confidential.

¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, closed two private placements of its equity securities for a total of $9 million. Gerald Klauer Mattison & Co. Inc., of New York, and George K. Baum & Co., of San Francisco, acted as placement agents. The company will use the proceeds to finance its consumer products business and the Phase III trials of GBC-590, its compound to treat cancer. A group of investors led by Cavallo Capital Corp. purchased $5 million of the company's securities in a private offering with a commitment to purchase another $9 million under certain conditions. In addition, the company raised $4 million with an unnamed institution and three accredited investors.

¿ SangStat Medical Corp., of Fremont, Calif., said that a British court has rejected an attempt by Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, to have the UK marketing authorization of SangStat's SangCya (cyclosporine) oral solution revoked. The judge ruled that the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) acted properly in granting the SangCya marketing authorization. It ordered Novartis to pay the MCA's court costs, and denied Novartis' request for an appeal.

¿ Tularik Inc., of South San Francisco, and researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have shown the 3-dimensional structure of a protein that plays a critical role in bacterial DNA replication. The findings, published in the March 31 issue of Science, provide an atomic-resolution image of the DnaG primase protein, which performs the essential step of producing RNA primers that are required for initiating DNA replications of the bacterial chromosome. This replication is the initial step in most bacterial infections. Tularik intend to use this new structure to speed the development of novel antibacterial drugs.

¿ Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, and the Hospital for Joint Diseases, of New York, will start a research project in gene and target discovery for understanding the pathophysiology of human osteoarthritis. The agreement provides for multi-year funding for osteoarthritis research at the hospital, with Yamanouchi obtaining the exclusive worldwide license to the technology with the right to sublicense and commercialize resulting products.

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