* Caliper Technologies Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., entered anagreement with Roche Holding Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, for use ofthe former's "lab on a chip" technology for drug discovery. Rochealso participated in an $8.5 million private placement of stock byCaliper.

* CombiChem Inc., of San Diego, and Dyax Corp., of Cambridge,Mass., entered an agreement to develop an automated parallelpurification system for combinatorial libraries. The technology,called CombiSyn PWS-20, is expected to be available in 1997.

* Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., paid $1 million to VicalInc., of San Diego, in exercise of an option for an exclusive license touse Vical's cytofectins as non-viral vectors in a cystic fibrosis genetherapy. Vical also will receive milestone and royalty payments.Cytofectins are described as cationic lipids formulated to combinewith genes to deliver them into cells.

* Trophix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South Plainfield, N.J., entered acollaboration with Children's Hospital of Boston for research intocell signaling pathways involved in programmed cell death ofneurons. Trophix expects to use the information in development ofdrugs for neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's,Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said itsresearchers identified the 3-D structure of the p38 mitogen-activatedprotein kinase, an enzyme that triggers production of interleukin-1(IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). IL-1 and TNF are cytokinesinvolved in inflammation and programmed cell death. Vertex is usingthe enzyme structure to develop anti-inflammatory drugs. Thediscovery was published in the Nov. 1, 1996, issue of The Journal ofBiological Chemistry.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.