BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said that the Opposition Division of the Australian Patent Office rejected Atlanta-based Emory University's patent application relating to 3TC (lamivudine), BioChem's treatment for HIV and AIDS. The company said European patent officials recently took the same action.

GeneAsia Inc., of San Carlos, Calif., named Vito Mangiardi as president and chief executive officer. Prior to joining GeneAsia, Mangiardi was executive vice president of Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, made cash payments totaling $37.1 million related to the $40 million contingent merger obligations incurred in connection with the acquisition of Seragen Inc., of Hopkinton, Mass., in August 1998, and the assets of Marathon Biopharmaceuticals LLC, also of Hopkinton. Marathon was formed when Boston University took over Seragen's manufacturing and research operations. (See BioWorld Today, May 12, 1998, p. 1.)

Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., said its wholly owned subsidiary commenced its previously announced tender offer for the common stock of Sibia Neurosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif. Following the consummation of the tender offer, Merck will acquire all the remaining shares of Sibia's common stock that are not tendered in the offer. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 3, 1999, p. 1.)

Stanford University, of Palo Alto, Calif., said its researchers identified the gene in dogs that causes narcolepsy, a chronic, potentially disabling neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness, involuntary "sleep attacks" and loss of muscle control. The researchers said the gene discovery may help in understanding narcolepsy in humans.