¿ Cerus Corp., of Concord, Calif., started a second trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and viability of red blood cells treated with its proprietary S-303 pathogen inactivation system. Some 30 healthy subjects will receive up to four transfusions of small volumes of S-303-treated red blood cells. In addition, the company reported that in a Phase Ia trial of its red blood cell pathogen inactivation system, the circulation of both S-303-treated and untreated red blood cells 24 hours after transfusion exceeded the established standard for red blood cell recovery.

¿ CombiChem Inc., of San Diego, and ICOS Corp., of Bothell, Wash., have expanded their drug discovery and development collaboration to include a new undisclosed target. ICOS has exclusive global rights to develop and market any resulting products. CombiChem will receive an up-front payment, research support and milestone and royalty payments for any developed products.

¿ Corvas International Inc., of San Diego, extended its alliance with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., to develop orally available inhibitors of a key protease thought to be involved in hepatitis C virus replication. This second extension allows Schering-Plough to continue the research collaboration through May 2000, with a commitment of about $1.6 million over the 12-month extension.

¿ Digene Corp., of Beltsville, Md., formed an exclusive marking alliance with Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., for Digene's Women's Health and Blood Virus testing products. Abbott will assume sales and marketing responsibility for all of Digene's Hybrid Capture products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and for Digene's Hybrid Capture II chlamydia and gonorrhea tests in the U.S. The agreement replaces previous agreements between Digene and International Murex Technologies Corp., a Toronto-based company acquired by Abbott in 1998. (See BioWorld Today, March 18, 1998, p. 1.)

¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., completed the sale of the assets of JBL Scientific Inc., of San Diego, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Promega Corp., of Madison, Wis. JBL Scientific is Genta's wholly owned specialty chemicals subsidiary. Terms included a cash payment of about $5 million, a $1.2 million promissory note and pharmaceutical development services supporting Genta's development of its lead cancer drug candidate, G3139.

¿ ID Biomedical Corp., of Seattle, reported that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases filed an investigational new drug application for ID Biomedical's prototypic group A streptococcus (GAS) vaccine. In preclinical testing, the vaccine has shown no evidence of toxicity and has demonstrated a protective immune response to the targeted GAS strains.

¿ Maxygen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., received an undisclosed payment from Pfizer Inc., of New York, in its collaboration to improve the selectivity of an enzyme required for production of the active form of a marketed natural product.

¿ Shaman Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, filed a registration statement to offer stockholders, on a pro rata basis, preferred shares designated as Series R convertible preferred stock with an aggregate value of $15 million.

¿ Ventana Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, raised $8 million in a private financing. The round was led by Warberg, Pincus Ventures LP, of New York. Also, the company said it has changed its name to Arcaris Inc.