* Appligène Oncor, of Strasbourg, France, has reported a 12.9 percent increase in revenues to FFr9.3 million (US$1.6 million) in the third quarter of 1998 relative to the corresponding three months of 1997, when revenues totaled FFr8.3 million. That represents a slight acceleration in revenue growth, since in the first half of this year turnover was up 9.2 percent, at FFr21.8 million. For the first nine months as a whole, therefore, the company's revenues rose by 10.3 percent to FFr31.1 million. Appligène's parent company, Oncor Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., recently sold its in vitro diagnostics and oncological probe activities to Ventana Medical Systems, of Tucson, Ariz., and the French company has now concluded a three-year distribution agreement with Ventana, giving it exclusive rights to distribute oncological probes in Europe. Appligène had a similar, but shorter, arrangement with Oncor. In exchange, Ventana Medical Systems has been granted European distribution rights for its in vitro diagnostic products.
* Peptide Therapeutics Group plc, of Cambridge, U.K., entered a research collaboration with Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, under which Peptide will apply its protease inhibitor drug discovery technology, RAPiD, to a protease target provided by Novartis. Peptide will receive up-front funding for the work, and milestone payments if an inhibitor drug progresses through clinical development. Novartis, through its Novartis Pharma AG division, is the second pharmaceutical company to enter a collaboration based on the RAPiD technology. In November, Peptide announced a similar deal with Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis.