* Sequana Therapeutics Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., signed a letter of intent with Perkin-Elmer Corp.'s Applied Biosystems division to form a DNA sequencing joint venture in Shanghai, China. Perkin-Elmer is headquartered in Norwalk, Conn. The two companies said initially the joint venture, to be called GeneCore BioTechnologies Inc., will offer DNA sequencing and analysis services in China. Sequana and Perkin-Elmer each will own 47.5 percent of GeneCore. The remaining 5 percent will be held by China-based SiniWest Holdings Inc., an international consulting firm.
* Texas Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, began a Phase I trial in the U.K. of TBC 1269, a small molecule compound, for asthma. The company said the drug is designed as an antagonist to E-, P- and L-selectin, which are associated with acute allergic attacks in asthma patients.