Scios Nova Inc. and privately held Adheron Corp. announcedThursday that Scios has sold its NovaScreen receptor screeningbusiness to Adheron for a combination of cash, stock and futurepayments.

NovaScreen, which operated as a division of NovaPharmaceutical Corp. before the merger of Scios and Nova lastSeptember, is a commercial research and development supportservice for drug discovery and development groups in thepharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Adheron ofCollege Park, Md., will continue to operate the NovaScreenservice business under the NovaScreen name, and NovaScreenwill remain in Baltimore.

Pruning NovaScreen following the merger makes sense, saidJim McCamant, editor of the Medical Technology Stock Letter."It was supposed to help them get products, but they never gotany good products out of it."

"The sale of NovaScreen is part of Scios Nova's strategy todivest certain assets not central to our long-term businessfocus," said Richard Casey, chairman and chief executive officerof Scios Nova (NASDAQ-:SCIO) of Mountain View, Calif.

Adheron will use the NovaScreen drug discovery technologywith its natural product libraries, said David Manyak, presidentand chief executive officer of Adheron.

Adheron focuses on natural product-based pharmaceuticals,bioadhesives and enzymes. The company uses marineorganisms, particularly bacteria, for novel compounds.

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