$9 MILLION CHARGE FOR CENTOXINCentocor Inc. closed unchanged at $10.50 on about 1.5 millionshares traded Thursday after reporting it will take a $9 millioncharge against inventories of Centoxin, whose shelf life isexpected to expire prior to sale.

The Malvern, Pa., company (NASDAQ:CNTO) had been preparingto introduce the sepsis treatment in the U.S. until the FDA inApril said the product is currently not approvable.

Also as a result of the FDA decision, Centocor said it wouldreduce staff at its headquarters and at its manufacturingoperations in the Netherlands. The company said it already hadmade "extensive" reductions at its U.S. manufacturing facility inSt. Louis.

In the first quarter, Centocor reported a loss of $45.8 million, or$1.20 a share, compared with a loss of $18.2 million, or 60cents, in the 1991 quarter. Revenues were $16.1 million vs.$9.6 million in 1991. Centoxin sales in Europe were $5.3million.

Elsewhere, bioscience shares fell across the board, joining ageneral market retreat. The AMEX Biotechnology Indextumbled 5.14 to 139.01.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) was second-most active amongbiotech issues, falling $1.25 to $53.75 on 1.2 million shares.

Scios Inc. and Nova Pharmaceutical Corp. fell for a second dayafter announcing a merger. SCIO dropped $1 to $10.63 andNOVX was off 38 cents to $4.13.

Among the few companies gaining ground, International MurexTechnologies (AMEX:MXX) was up $2 to $14.88 and CephalonInc. (NASDAQ:CEPH) picked up $1.13 to $10.25.

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