Immunex Corp. is getting into the diagnostics arenathrough a co-promotion agreement with Biomira Inc.

Immunex, of Seattle, will co-promote Truquant BR, ablood test developed by Biomira for detection ofrecurrent breast cancer. The company has received anapprovable letter for the in vitro test kit. Approval isexpected in the first quarter of 1996.

Polymedco Inc., of Cortlandt, N.Y., will continue asexclusive distributor of the product. Biomira, ofEdmonton, Alberta, sells the product to Polymedco.Immunex will profit by getting a percentage on salesbeyond an established base level, said Jane Jack, investorrelations coordinator for Biomira. No money changedhands in the agreement, she said.

Robin Shapiro, manager of corporate communications forImmunex, said the deal with Biomira, announcedThursday, marked the company's first entry intodiagnostics, and it would explore any additionalopportunities in that area that make sense.

Shapiro said Truquant is a natural fit for Immunex's 70-person sales force, which already is selling Novantrone tophysicians. That drug is indicated for use in advancedbreast cancer and other cancers, and is being studied inmetastatic breast cancer.

Separately, Shapiro said there have been no newdevelopments in the American Home Products Corp.offer for all outstanding Immunex shares it doesn'talready own. American Home's $14.50-per-share bid wasrejected by Immunex directors on Nov. 13, 1995.

Immunex's stock (NASDAQ:IMNX) gained 13 centsThursday to close at $16.75. Biomira(NASDAQ:BIOMF) gained 6 cents to close at $3.05. _Jim Shrine

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