Ex vivo Therapies, a joint venture of Applied Immune Sciences Inc.and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., has acquired CaremarkInternational's 50 percent stake in a 1991 Applied Immune-Caremark joint venture for commercialization of AIDS ex vivotherapies in North America.

In connection with the acquisition, Ex vivo Therapies fully acquireda cell processing facility in South San Francisco that was part of theoriginal joint venture. That facility will continue to process cells forApplied Immune clinical trials in AIDS.

Ex vivo Therapies, formed in September 1993 to perform ex vivocell processing, already acquired Applied Immune's stake in the1991 joint venture with Caremark. According to Applied Immune'schief financial officer Dan Pedriani, Ex vivo Therapies is 50 percentowned by Applied Immune and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, althoughRhone-Poulenc Rorer provides all funding for the joint venture.

Ex vivo Therapies also announced last week that its first commercialcell processing center is up and running in Torrance, Calif. The sitewill provide cell processing services for an upcoming AppliedImmune Phase III clinical trial in patients suffering from metastatic(advanced) kidney cancer.

Building a worldwide network of cell processing facilities was anintegral part of the 1993 strategic alliance. Ex vivo Therapies thusplans to build new cell processing centers in the Eastern U.S.,Europe and Japan. The joint venture will also develop additionalcenters to provide services to RPR Gencell, a new division of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer to focus on accelerating the discovery anddevelopment of cell and gene therapies for cancer, cardiovasculardisease and nervous system disorders. _ Lisa Piercey

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