Cangene Corp. accepted an offer to sell its NASBAdiagnostic technology for $22 million (U.S. $16.2million) in cash to Organon Teknika Corp.

Teknika, of Durham, N.C., the diagnostic arm of Dutchchemical company Akzo Nobel N.V., also will cancel the1.4 million Cangene common shares held by an affiliateas part of the deal. Those shares represent about 14percent of those Cangene has outstanding, and adds up to$4 million to the deal for the Toronto-based company.

Cangene, which reported having $5.7 million in cash onApril 30, said its financial situation necessitated sellingNASBA, a nucleic acid amplification technology basedon RNA transcription.

Teknika has licensed NASBA from Cangene underagreements signed in 1989 and 1991. Under the proposedsale, Cangene would get a non-exclusive license to useNASBA in its pharmaceutical research program and forfood diagnostic purposes.

Last year Organon bought Siska Diagnostics Inc., whichhad rights to gene amplification technologies known asTAS and 3SR. Organon bought Siska in part to solidifythe patent position on NASBA, which is similar to 3SR.

Cangene has two therapeutic products in clinical trials.Leucotropin, a granulocyte macrophage colonystimulating factor, is in Phase II/III studies to boostproduction of white blood cells in AIDS patients. AndAllevorin, an interleukin-3 product, is in Phase I/II for usein boosting production of white blood cells in cancerchemotherapy patients. n

-- Jim Shrine

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