WASHINGTON -- Four Chiron Corp. executives, taking ofadvantage of new insider trading rules, sold $5.6 million worthof the company's stock during May.

President Gregory B. Lawless sold 50,000 shares at $56 pershare. Niek J. Roosdorp, vice president of businessdevelopment, sold 17,333 shares at $56.50; Alan F. Russell,vice president of scientific affairs, sold 20,000 shares at $53;and Ronald D. Johnson, vice president of manufacturing, sold16,000 shares at $48.06 per share.

A company spokesman said that in each case the executiveexercised an option to purchase stock and immediately sold theshares.

The sale of 103,000 shares left the four with total directholdings of about 4,000 shares. They also are eligible foradditional options.

Insider selling has increased in general since new regulationslifting restrictions on sales of stock became effective in May.Executives are now allowed to buy and sell stock at any time;previously they had to wait six months between acquiring andselling stock.

In addition, the spokesman said, Chiron has had three publicofferings in less than 24 months and there was a "lock-outperiod" associated with each offering during which insiderscould not sell stock.

Stock of the Emeryville, Calif., company (NASDAQ:CHIR) closedTuesday at $57.75, down 88 cents. Chiron has a diversifiedportfolio of projects, including vaccines and opthalmics.

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

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