* Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., said the FDA's General andPlastic Surgery Devices Panel, an advisory group, will review thecompany's premarket approval application for Seprafilm March 25,1996. The bioresorbable membrane is designed to prevent internaladhesions following abdominal and pelvic surgeries.

* Perkin-Elmer Corp., of Norwalk, Conn., has introduced a fasterDNA sequencer, called the ABI Prism 7700 Sequence DetectionSystem. The company said the fully automated machine represents a100-fold increase in speed for DNA sequence analysis.

* 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.)

* 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.

* 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.

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