¿ Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, reached an agreement with North China Pharmaceutical Corp., of Shijiazhuang, China, for development, manufacturing and marketing in China of Amarillo's interferon lozenges for hepatitis B. The agreement included up-front and other payments. A large study is expected to begin in August.

¿ Antex Biologics, of Gaithersburg, Md., said a Phase II trial of its oral vaccine against Campylobacter confirmed it stimulates desired immune responses. The company said it plans to optimize the oral formulation and dosing regimen.

¿ Catalytica Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., and CombiChem Inc., of San Diego, formed a joint venture to provide catalytic-based combinatorial discovery services to the materials and process industries. The joint venture will be called Aperion LLC.

¿ Cytochroma Inc., of Kingston, Ontario, said it signed a deal worth up to $5 million with Allergan Inc., of Irvine, Calif., to develop compounds that modulate retinoic acid. The deal includes up-front payments to Cytochroma, as well as research support and potential milestones and royalties. Cytochroma will screen Allergan compounds to identify inhibitors of vitamin A metabolism.

¿ Digital Gene Technologies Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., said Immunex Corp., of Seattle, exercised its right to renew a license on a molecule implicated in inflammatory bowel disease. The molecule is the first of six licensed by Immunex during the initial year of a collaboration that uses Digital Gene's TOGA gene expression technology to discover novel approaches for diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal system.

¿ Focal Inc., of Lexington, Mass., began a collaboration with the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute to evaluate the effectiveness of Focal's polymers, in a preclinical study, for the local delivery of cancer drugs.

¿ Vion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., said VNP20009, the first bacterial candidate from its Tapet platform technology, is capable of migrating from injected tumors. That was seen after injections in mice. Preclinical studies also demonstrated inhibition of growth of injected tumors, uninjected tumors and lung metastases.

¿ Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., and Eos Biotechnology Inc., of South San Francisco, entered into a collaboration to validate new breast cancer markers. Eos will contribute breast cancer targets gathered through its various genomics technologies. Vysis will validate the genes through its fluorescence in situ hybridization technology.

¿ Xenometrix Inc., of Boulder, Colo., received a three-month extension - to Sept. 15 - to repay outstanding bridge notes. The balance is less than $250,000.