Affymax N.V. and Ciba-Geigy Ltd. on Tuesday announced a one-year extensionof their July 1991 research collaboration. The original three-yeardrug-discovery collaboration was due to expire this July.

Affymax of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Ciba originally collaboratedto identify drug candidates in three therapeutic areas: autoimmunediseases, inflammatory diseases and cancer. The drug discovery willcontinue under the extension, Affymax's manager of investor relations,Diana Kapp, told Bioworld, but will concentrate on only one of these areas.Ciba will expand its research and development investment in Affymax byanother $2.5 million, bringing total R&D funding from the collaborationto $10 million. At the time of the original agreement Ciba also made a$7.5 million equity investment in Affymax.

The drug-discovery efforts of the collaboration take advantage of threeAffymax technologies intended to identify compounds that interact withspecific molecular targets: The company's very large-scale immobilizedpolymer synthesis (VLSIPS), its encoded synthetic libraries and itsrecombinant peptide diversity.

Affymax's stock closed at $17 a share on Tuesday, up 13 cents.-Karl A. Thiel

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