Five U.S. military spokesmen on Thursday denied knowing ofany negotiations with Xoma Corp. of Berkeley, Calif., for the useof Xoma's E5 septic shock treatment.

Still, Xoma spokeswoman Carol DeGuzman reaffirmed onThursday a statement reported Tuesday by BioWorld that thecompany is arranging to supply the drug to the U.S. military foruse in the Persian Gulf.

"We have not negotiated with Xoma, nor are we negotiatingwith them now," said Charles Dasey of the U.S. Army MedicalResearch and Development Command in Fort Detrick, Md. "Wereviewed the data regarding their product and then bought theother product," he said, referring to a rival drug, Centoxin,produced by Centocor Inc. of Malvern, Pa. Both E5 and Centoxinare monoclonal antibody-based.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which buys most troopsupport items, including medicines, also said Thursday that ithad no contract with Xoma. "If it wasn't the Army, and itwasn't us, I don't know who it can be," DLA spokesman LarryWilson said. Spokesmen for three other military divisions thatdeal with medical supplies told BioWorld that to theirknowledge they are not buying Xoma products.

Meanwhile, a continuing battle between Centocor and Xoma hasmoved both companies' stocks. Xoma (NSDAQ:XOMA) closedThursday at $20, up $1.75, while Centocor (NASDAQ:CNTO)closed at $51.75, up $2. -- Rachel Nowak

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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