TSI UNIT LOSES $1.5 MILLION CONTRACTWASHINGTON -- TSI Mason Research Institute, a unit of TSICorp., lost a $1.5 million annual government contract for animalsupport services, the company announced Tuesday.
The contract represented about 15 percent of the unit'srevenues, said Munro Pitt, senior vice president of TSI, whichdevelops toxicology tests and animal disease models.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Developmentawarded a five-year contract to another company and willrelease the name of the new contractor "in the near future,"said an NICHHD spokesman.
TSI Corp. inherited the contract when it acquired MasonResearch Institute from EG&G Inc. in December 1989. Thecurrent agreement expires May 31.
TSI stock (NASDAQ:TSIN) closed at $5.75 on Tuesday, down 25cents.
James Sherblom, chairman and chairman of TSI Corp., said that"while we are sorry to see this contract end, we expect toreplace it with commercial work for the pharmaceutical andbiotechnology industry, which is more profitable for TSI." --Steve Usdin
U.S. SAYS BRITISH DUMPING GENE AMPS
WASHINGTON -- The Commerce Department has issued apreliminary determination that gene amplification thermalcyclers (GATCs) from the United Kingdom are being sold in theUnited States at less than fair market value.
GATCs are microprocessor-based reaction controllers thatregulate temperatures of biologic reagents through aprogrammed and highly controlled thermal regime. They areused in a variety of biotechnology applications.
The Commerce Department announced the preliminarydetermination on April 29. A final ruling is expected by July 8.If it is affirmative, the International Trade Commission (ITC)must determine within 45 days whether the imports materiallyinjure or threaten material injury to the U.S. gene amplificationthermal cycler industry.
If the ITC's findings are affirmative, anti-dumping duties willbe assessed against all imports of U.K.-manufactured GATCs.More than 60 percent of GATCs imported from the UnitedKingdom are manufactured by LEP Scientific Ltd.
LTI BEGINS STEALTH LIPOSOME TESTS
Liposome Technology Inc. announced Tuesday that it has begunclinical trials in Jerusalem to test the ability of its proprietaryStealth liposomes to deliver the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin totumors in patients.
Stealth liposomes consist of liposomes impregnated with lipidscontaining polyethylene glycol. The PEG-coated liposomesevade the body's detection system that clears foreignsubstances from the blood stream, hence the name Stealth.Animal studies have shown that Stealth liposomes, whichcirculate for extended periods, deliver several times moredoxorubicin (DOX) to tumors than do conventional liposomes orDOX alone.
On May 7 LTI received U.S. Patent No. 5,013,556 coveringStealth liposomes and their uses. LTI has also filed aninvestigational new drug application with the Food and DrugAdministration to test S-DOX in the United States, said FrancisMartin, LTI vice president and principal scientist.
Stock of the Menlo Park, Calif., company (NASDAQ:LTIZ) closedunchanged at $5 on Tuesday. -- CTV
SOD DESIGNATED AN ORPHAN DRUG
Bio-Technology General Corp. said Tuesday that its recombinanthuman superoxide dismutase (SOD) has received orphan drugdesignation for the prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia(BPD) in premature babies.
About 12,500 infants born in the United States each year are atrisk of developing BPD, which leads to scarring of lung tissue.BPD is mediated by oxygen-free radicals present in excessoxygen environments, such as those in incubators. SOD is anatural enzyme that neutralizes oxygen-free radicals.Premature infants are born with a deficiency of SOD.
Bio-Technology General (NASDAQ:BTGC), based in New York,said it will renew Phase I trials of SOD to prevent BPD in thenear future. Initial Phase I trials, which began in 1989, weresuspended that year when the Food and Drug Administrationrequested more animal data on the effects of long-termadministration of SOD. BTGC said it has completed those studies.
SOD is also in Phase I trials in Europe for treatment ofulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
BTGC stock closed Tuesday at $4.13, up 19 cents.
EPITOPE SEEKS APPROVAL FOR HIV TEST DEVICE
Epitope Inc. has filed for Food and Drug Administrationmarketing approval of its OraSure saliva-based HIV testcollection device. The Beaverton, Ore., company has completedPhase III clinical trials, which compared results of saliva testedfor the AIDS virus with blood-based tests. Epitope stock(AMEX:EPT) closed at $15.38 on Tuesday, up 38 cents.
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