Quintiles Transnational Corp., a contract research company (CRO),is negotiating with Switzerland-based Roche Holding Ltd. topurchase a drug development plant in Scotland from SyntexPharmaceuticals Ltd., a Roche subsidiary.

Greg Connors, spokesman for Quintiles, said the Research TrianglePark, N.C., company is in the process of discussing final terms of theproposed acquisition and has signed a non-binding letter of intent tobuy the facility.

Syntex Pharmaceutical Ltd. became part of Roche last year with thepharmaceutical company's purchase of Palo Alto, Calif.-basedSyntex Corp.

Connors said Quintiles could not comment on any details of theproposed agreement until it is finalized. Company officials said theyintend to employ approximately 200 existing Syntex workers at thefacility in Edinburgh.

The acquisition, Quintiles said, will allow the company to expand itscontract research and development business in Europe.

Quintiles, which went public last year, was founded in 1982 toprovide a broad range of product development services topharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The CRO's businessincludes clinical trials and data management, biostatistical analysis,preclinical testing and regulatory and health economics consulting.

Quintiles' stock (NASDAQ:QTRN) closed Wednesday at $30.37, up12 cents. _ Charles Craig

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