¿ Access Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Dallas, raised $3 million through the private placement of 1.5 million shares of common stock in the first closing of an intended $8 million round of financing. Access said it will have four programs in pivotal or Phase III trials within the next 12 months. Its previously announced acquisition of Virologix Corp., a private company developing treatments for HIV and other viral diseases, also was completed.

¿ Alza Corp. and Crescendo Pharmaceuticals Corp., both of Palo Alto, Calif., filed a new drug application with the FDA for OROS methylphenidate as a once-daily treatment for sufferers of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Combining methylphenidate, the most commonly prescribed therapy for those disorders, with Alza's osmotic drug delivery technology is designed to eliminate repeat dosing. Crescendo is an Alza affiliate.

¿ American Biogenetic Sciences, of Copiague, N.Y., entered into a marketing agreement with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to sell traditional Chinese medicines worldwide under the academy's quality certification process. With a growth rate of more than 20 percent Chinese traditional medicines are projected to reach $6.6 billion in retail sales by 2003, the company said.

¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, said Merck & Co. Inc., of New York, exercised its option to purchase additional voltage ion probe reader systems for ion channel drug discovery. The option was included in the companies' December 1997 agreement. Terms were not disclosed.

¿ Integrated Genomics Inc., of Chicago, signed a research and licensing agreement in the area of industrial organisms with Cargill Inc., of Minneapolis, under which Integrated Genomics will sequence and analyze genomes of interest to Cargill. Cargill also will license Integrated Genomics' WIT Pro genome analysis and genomic hardware and software technology. Terms were not disclosed.

¿ LeukoSite Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed its purchase of ProScript Inc., of Cambridge, as well as a $14.4 million private placement. The acquisition was for about $2.7 million in cash and stock. Both the acquisition and financing were disclosed last month. (See BioWorld Today, June 24, 1999, p. 1.)

¿ Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., received $2 million and $1 million awards from the National Institutes of Health to fund work on products for HIV. The larger grant will be used on development of monoclonal antibodies that target cellular co-receptors needed for fusion with target cells. The other will fund development of vaccines.

¿ Valentis Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., began a Phase I/II trial of Interleukin-12 (IL-12) as a gene therapy treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The product uses the IL-12 gene incorporated into the company's polymer-based delivery system.