DNX Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to expand itspreclinical testing capability and capacity by acquiringHazleton-France, itself a preclinical testing company owned byHazleton Laboratories and Institut Merieux.

DNX of Princeton, N.J., intends to combine Hazleton-France, forwhich it will end up paying a total of $10 million, with DNX'ssubsidiary, Pharmakon Research International Inc.

Pharmakon offers pre-investigational new drug applicationtesting services for biotech and pharmaceutical companies.These include pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and toxicology.But what it lacks, according to Paul Schmitt, president and chiefexecutive officer, is chronic infusion and primate testingcapabilities. And, according to Schmitt, Hazleton-France is oneof the few companies that use continuous infusion therapymethods for preclinical testing. Hazleton-France had sales of$15 million in 1991.

"Pharmakon's revenues have increased 50 percent in 1992,"Schmitt told BioWorld. The Waverly, Pa., service company"doubled the number of contracts last year," Schmitt said.Although Pharmakon shops its services to small-to-mid-sizepharmaceutical companies as well as to biotech companies, thebiotech companies are responsible for most of the revenue,Schmitt said. "Biotech companies want to do all the preclinicaltesting in one place; pharmaceutical companies don't."

Pharmakon has ongoing contracts with about 70 biotechcompanies right now -- up from 40 last year. At this rate,Pharmakon already needs more capacity.

"DNX (Pharmakon) anticipates demand for its capabilities willcontinue to grow as the swelling pipeline of recombinantproducts proceeds through development," Schmitt explained.

DNX (NASDAQ:DNXX) currently has $35 million to $36 million incash, with 8.5 million shares outstanding, Schmitt said. Thecompany's stock rose $1.63 a share to $6 on Wednesday.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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