FDA ASKED TO REMOVE ALZHEIMER'S DRUGPublic Citizen, a national consumer group, petitioned the Foodand Drug Administration to remove from the market the onlyapproved drug treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Public Citizenof Washington, D.C., cited a lack of efficacy for the drug,ergoloid mesylates. It is primarily marketed by Sandoz Ltd. ofBasel, Switzerland, under the trade name Hydergine. Thepetition cited disappointing results from a Sandoz-fundedstudy, which were published in last August's issue of the NewEngland Journal of Medicine.


ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Hana Biologics Inc., a cell therapy company,on Thursday adjourned until Feb. 28 a shareholders vote on thecompany's proposed merger with privately held Somatix Corp.of Cambridge, Mass.

The delay in Hana's annual meeting enables Hana shareholdersto be informed about the contracts, said John Archer, Hana'spresident and designated executive vice president of themerged company. It is to be called Somatix Therapy Corp. andwill be based in Alameda.

In negotiations are Eric Tomlinson, president and chiefexecutive officer of Somatix, who was chosen for the samepositions at the merged company; Richard Mulligan, a Somatixconsultant who developed gene therapy technology on whichSomatix was founded; and two senior-level Somatix scientists.As of Wednesday, a majority of Hana stockholders had casttheir proxies in favor of the merger, Tomlinson said.


Quidel Corp. of San Diego said Thursday that it has startedmarketing the Quidel Group B Strep test, an enzymeimmunoassay for the detection of Group B Strep (GBS).

GBS is the most common cause of bacterial infection in newborninfants, resulting in about 2,000 neonatal deaths annually inthe United States. Because GBS is frequently transmitted frommother to infant during delivery, the test is designed todiagnose pregnant women prior to delivery.

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