Centocor Inc. is strengthening its bench as it prepares to pitchanother Phase III clinical study on its HA-1A/Centoxin drug toU.S. regulatory authorities.

The company said Friday that BioPharm Clinical Services Inc. ofBlue Bell, Pa., will conduct the clinical data management andanalysis for the upcoming Phase III clinical trial of Centoxin,company's anti-bacterial drug.

The FDA on June 3 approved a protocol for the new clinicaltrial. In April, the FDA asked for a new, "well-controlled" trialbefore it would grant marketing approval to Centoxin fortreating sepsis.

Centocor (NASDAQ:CNTO) also said on Friday that the FDA andKing & Spalding, an Atlanta law firm with expertise in FDAmatters engaged by the company, are conducting independentaudits of all PLA filings.

The company's stock closed up 13 cents a share on Friday at$12.63.

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