* Switzerland-based Ciba-Geigy Ltd. began Phase I safety trials witha recombinant transforming growth factor beta 3 (TGF-Beta 3)developed by Oncogene Science Inc., of Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S.clinical studies are testing TGF-Beta 3 for treatment of chronic skinwounds.

* VIMRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Stamford, Conn., said earlyclinical trials of its lead compound, hypericin, to inactivate viruses inblood used for transfusions have shown the product achieved a highinactivation level of HIV in human blood. The company will reportthe work in the May 1995 issue of Transfusion.

* Quadra Logic Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, Canada, said theBelgian Board of Health did not approve its drug, Photofrin, for lung,bladder and esophageal cancers based on the interim data submitted.The company said it will have to file a new market application inBelgium. The drug already is sold in Japan, Canada and theNetherlands and is under review for market approval in the U.S.,Italy and Germany.

* ESCAgenetics Corp., of San Carlos, Calif., said new regulationsfrom the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant HealthInspection Service will enable the company to begin importing itsTrue Potato Seeds into the U.S. from Chile by mid-1995.Commercial production of potato seed tubers from ESCAgenetics'sTrue Potato Seeds system began in 1994 in Peru, Mexico, India andSouth Africa.

* Igenex Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., received a $100,000 Phase ISmall Business Innovation Research grant from the NationalInstitutes of Health to develop genetic suppresser elements to treatHIV. Funds also will be used to identify genes involved in resistingHIV. Igenex is a subsidiary of Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc., also ofMenlo Park.

* U.K.-based Cambridge Antibody Technology signed an agreementwith Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., of Japan, to develop drugs based onCambridge's phage display technology for isolating antibodies totargeted antigens. Financial terms were not disclosed.

* Perkin-Elmer Corp., of Norwalk, Conn., began marketing its ABIPrism 377 DNA sequencer. The company said the machine cansequence genes four times faster than its ABI 373 model. The ABIsequencers were developed by Perkin-Elmer's Applied BiosystemsDivision in Foster City, Calif.

* International Murex Technologies Corp., of Atlanta, launched thesale of its Murex Hybrid Capture DNA test for cytomegalovirus inEurope. The DNA probe-based diagnostic is the first product basedon a collaboration between Murex and Digene Diagnostics Inc., ofSilver Spring, Md.

* Sherer Healthcare Inc., of New York, and Derma Sciences Inc., ofOld Forge, Pa., extended the deadline until Feb. 28 for theirinvitation to shareholders of ProCyte Corp., of Kirkland, Wash., tocall a special meeting to consider a takeover by Sherer and Derma.

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