* Apollon Inc., of Malvern, Pa., said it began the first trial in Europeof a DNA-based vaccine directed against HIV. The Genevax vaccinewill be studied in a Phase I/II trial primarily to look at safety inasymptomatic HIV patients. The study, expected to take up to year,will be conducted in Switzerland. The vaccine already is in U.S.trials.

* Cel-Sci Corp., of Alexandria, Va., said it has FDA clearance tobegin two clinical trials of Multikine for prostate and head and neckcancers. Multikine is a combination of interleukin-2 and othercytokines.

* Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., said it signedagreements with two biopharmaceutical firms to provide preclinicaltesting services. Both partnerships are expected to generate $2million a year. The companies were not identified. GenzymeTransgenics said two targets of the collaborations will be AIDS andcentral nervous systems disorders. Genzyme Transgenics is 45percent owned by Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass.

* OraVax Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., purchased a manufacturingfacility in Canton, Mass., from ImmunoGen Inc., of Cambridge,Mass. OraVax said it will use the plant to produce its monoclonalantibody, HNK20, for respiratory syncytial virus and pneumonia ininfants. The drug is in Phase II trials. A phase III study is expected tobegin later this year.

* Sparta Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C.,agreed to issue 2.6 million shares to takeover Lexin PharmaceuticalCorp., of Horsham, Pa. Sparta will pay Lexin stockholders 2 millionshares when the deal closes and another 600,000 shares uponachievement of development milestones of Lexin's drug candidates.The acquisition is expected to close by the end of March 1996.Lexin's research focuses on proteins and small molecules that inhibitserine proteases, which are enzymes implicated in cardiovasculardisorders, inflammatory diseases and cancer. The two companiesannounced their intent to merge in January 1996. (See BioWorldToday, Jan. 22, 1996, p. 1.)

* BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, boosted gross proceedsfrom its public offering Feb. 23, 1996, to $183.1 million afterunderwriters for the equity financing exercised options to purchase525,000 shares to cover overallotments. BioChem Pharma sold atotal of more than 4 million shares at $45.50 per share. Managing theoffering were Hambrecht & Quist LLC, of New York; RobertsonStephens & Co. LLC, of San Francisco; UBS Securities Inc., of NewYork; Midland Walwyn Capital Inc., of Toronto; and LevesqueBeaubien Geoffrion Inc., of Montreal. (See BioWorld Today, Feb.26, 1996, p.1.)

* Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., said it received a$1.5 million milestone payment from corporate partner, Astra AB, ofSodertalje, Sweden. The collaboration focuses on use of the geneticmake-up of Helicobacter pylori to develop drugs to fight the bacterialinfection.

* NABI, of Boca Raton, Fla., said it signed a $25 million contract tosupply specialty plasma to MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md.,for production of MedImmune's RespiGam, an immune globulin fortreatment of respiratory syncytial virus. RespiGam received FDAapproval in January 1996.

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