* Argus Pharmaceuticals Inc. and TriplexPharmaceuticals Inc., both of The Woodlands, andOncologix Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., received approvalfrom their shareholders to merge. The combinedcompany, based in Texas, will be called AronexPharmaceuticals Inc. and will trade on NASDAQ underthe symbol, ARNX. The three-way merger was firstannounced in February.

* Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said AbbottLaboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., made its second of two$5 million equity investments under a July 1994agreement they entered to develop drugs forinflammatory diseases. Abbott purchased 516,129 Ligandshares. Under the long-term alliance, Abbott agreed topay Ligand up to $16 million to support researchactivities.

* NeXstar Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo.,completed its acquisition of Supragen Inc., of Lakewood,Colo. NeXstar issued 751,597 shares to takeoverSupragen, which is developing drugs for T cell mediateddiseases, in a deal valued at $11 million.

* Protein Design Labs Inc., of Mountain View, Calif.,began a clinical trial in Japan of its Smart M195humanized mouse antibody to treat myeloid leukemia.The trial is being conducted by Protein Design's partner,Osaka-based Kanebo Ltd., which licensed Asian rights toSmart M195.

* Vical Inc., of San Diego, began a Phase II study of itsAllovectin-7 gene therapy product for cancer. Allovectin-7 is designed to deliver to tumor cells a gene encoding aforeign tissue antigen, which is expected to trigger animmune system attack against the cancerous cells. About100 patients with melanoma, lymphoma and cancers ofthe kidney, colon and breast are participating in the trials.

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