* The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD),of New Fairfield, Conn., said the first 1,250 amyotrophiclateral sclerosis patients were chosen to receive Rilutek, adrug made by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville,Pa. The treatment is being made available free to peoplewith Lou Gehrig's disease pending the FDA's review ofthe company's new drug application. NORD, which iscoordinating the effort, said selections are made monthlyby lottery. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer is a subsidiary of theFrance-based Rhone-Poulenc Group.

* NeoRx Corp., of Seattle, started a Phase I trial ofBiostent, its catheter-delivered drug designed to reducerestenosis following balloon angioplasty.

* Sheffield Medical Technologies Inc., of New York andHouston, completed a $5.5 million private placementthrough the sale of 1.375 million units, each consisting ofone share and one warrant.

* Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., agreed withGlaxo Wellcome Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., toa six-month extension of their collaboration to developgenetic code blocker technology. Gilead will get $1.25million to fund research during the extension.

* Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., and Johns HopkinsUniversity, of Baltimore, will conduct a pilot preclinicalprogram to assess the potential of thalidomide-relateddrugs in graft-vs.-host disease.

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