Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., entered into a broad GeneChip technology access agreement with six participating institutes of the Bethesda, Md.-based National Institutes of Health: the National Cancer Institute; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and the National Institute of Health Clinical Center. Researchers gain access to various arrays, instruments and software to monitor gene expression.

Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, of Piscataway, N.J., said the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis purchased nine MegaBACE 1000 DNA sequencers in order to expand the university's sequencing efforts in the Human Genome Project.

Aquila Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Framingham, Mass., completed a $1.5 million direct limited placement of 666,667 newly issued shares of common stock. The company has 7.6 million shares outstanding. The shares were placed with the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, entered into a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, which will use the company's GenomeScreen technology to identify rare or low-abundance transcripts in tumor cells. The GenomeScreen technology is designed to allow for the interrogation of the genome broadly and the monitoring of the expression of any gene quantitatively in live cells.

Cellegy Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, completed enrollment of patients in its Phase III trial for Anogesic (nitroglycerin ointment). The multi-center, placebo-controlled trial is designed to determine the optimum dose and dosing interval required for the cure of chronic anal fissures. More than 300 patients will be enrolled, with the results expected by the end of the year.

Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., began its first trial of CEP-1347, an orally active small molecule, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The Phase I study will be a single, rising-dose, placebo-controlled trial. The compound is being devolved in collaboration with H. Lundbeck A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., licensed exclusive worldwide rights (excluding Australia and New Zealand) to develop, manufacture and market ketoconazole foam from Soltec Research Pty Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia. Ketoconazole foam is a quick-break foam formulation of the broad-spectrum, synthetic antifungal agent ketoconazole.

Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc., of South San Francisco, and SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, reported that Bexxar (tositumomab, iodine I 131 tositumomab) received FDA priority review status. Coulter's stock (NASDAQ:CLTR) gained $2.19 to close at $26.06.

SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., completed a $4 million institutional private placement, aimed at enabling the company to be profitable by the end of 2000. The offering consisted of about 2.5 million units, each consisting of one share and one warrant. SciClone has raised about $7.5 million since April.