PROGENICS COMPLETES PRIVATE STOCK PLACEMENTProgenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday that it hascompleted a $3.1 million private placement of convertiblepreferred stock with its venture capital investors.

Progenics raised about $4 million in previous venture roundssince 1988, said Terence Burnham, company president. TudorInvestment Corp. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. own the majority ofnon-employee-held shares, he said.

The Tarrytown, N.Y., company's initial research focus is theAIDS virus. Progenics has several CD-4-based therapeutics inpre-clinical development. Binding between the HIV coatprotein, gp120, and the CD-4 receptor on human T cells is acrucial step in the progression of HIV infection.

FDA ASKS FOR COMMENTS ON BIO FOODS

The Food and Drug Administration is soliciting comments byJuly 30 on the first application for use of a marker gene in foodcrops.

The solicitation for comments, published last week in theFederal Register, involves a request from Calgene Inc. for anadvisory opinion regarding the use of a kanamycin markergene in genetically engineered tomato, cotton and rapeseedplants.

Calgene (NASDAQ:CGNE) of Davis, Calif., is the first company toseek the FDA's opinion on the use of gene transfer methods toproduce foods derived from agricultural crops. The agency'sopinion may establish an important precedent for theregulation of genetically engineered substances in foods.

The marker indicates whether crops have incorporated desiredtraits. It has been used as a selectable marker in more than 30crops for developmental purposes.

ONCOR LICENSES DNA PROBES

Oncor Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md., said it has signed an exclusiveworldwide licensing agreement to manufacture and market twonew DNA probes for the diagnosis of chronic myelogenousleukemia. Oncor (NASDAQ:ONCR) will pay royalties to ARCHDevelopment Corp., the licensing affiliate of the University ofChicago. The probes will be sold for research use pendingclinical trials and application to the Food and DrugAdministration for wider applications.

IDEC EXPANDS MELANOMA STUDIES

IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. of La Jolla, Calif., has expanded itsclinical studies to treat malignant melanoma. The privatelyheld company, which began Phase I safety trials earlier thisyear, is now conducting Phase I/II trials of two antibody-basedimmunotherapies at seven U.S. cancer centers. Eachimmunotherapy consists of a monoclonal antibody that triggersB cells in the patient's immune system to produce antibodiesthat target melanoma cells. Each also includes an adjuvant toincrease the immune response.

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