InterPharm Laboratories said Thursday it has received a letter from theIsraeli government's Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) that said theOCS would take action against the company if it did not immediatelyget back the recombinant beta interferon cell bank it sold to Ares-Serono S.A.The OCS also said Israeli-based InterPharm must stop transferringknow-how to Ares-Serono until it gets written permission from theOCS. A group of InterPharm shareholders sued last month over lastyear's sale of the cell bank, for $2 million, to the Swiss pharmaceuticalcompany, which already owns 76 percent of InterPharm.InterPharm said the cell bank was sold in order to expand theregistration of the final formulation of the company's recombinantproduct, and it does not contain any unique or proprietary information.InterPharm said it contacted the OCS demanding withdrawal of thewarning.In another matter, Ares-Serono said it extended its cash tender offer forall the outstanding shares of InterPharm from June 6 to June 10. Itoffered $22 per share, or $33 million, for the 1.48 million shares itdoesn't hold. _ Jim Shrine

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