¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, entered an agreement under which Becton Dickinson and Co., of Franklin Lakes, N.J., will use Aurora¿s GenomeScreen technology to identify genes useful as drug screening targets. Aurora will receive research funding, and the companies will evaluate opportunities for future commercialization.

¿ Chromos Molecular Systems Inc., of Burnaby, British Columbia, published data that demonstrated that a functional murine satellite DNA-based artificial chromosome (SATAC) segregates stably after transfer across mammalian species in vitro and in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice in vivo. The paper appears in the current issue of Chromosome Research.

¿ Periondontix Inc., of Watertown, Mass., presented data suggesting that its histatin-protein-based peptide, P-113, will be safe for daily oral use and will prevent gingivitis when administered in both a mouth rinse and gel formulation. The company will now start a Phase II study of its HistaWash mouthwash to optimize the dosing. The results were presented at a meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in Vancouver, British Columbia.

¿ Synergy Vaccines Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., entered into a research and development deal with Becton Dickinson Technologies, also of Research Triangle Park, under which Becton will fund development of a vaccine using SynerVax, Synergy¿s vaccine adjuvant technology. Becton also entered into an option agreement to license the vaccine in Asia and Africa.

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