BTG SHOOTS FOR 25 PERCENT OF hGH MARKETHuman growth hormone (hGH) will be the first product to reachthe market for Bio-Technology General Corp., predicted Dr. SimFass, company president and chief executive officer.

Expecting marketing approval in 1991 of the drug are BTG'smarketing partners: SmithKline Beecham for Europe, ABIBiotechnology for Canada, and Scitech for the Pacific Rim. BTG(NASDAQ: BTGC) of Israel will rely on its partners' marketingstrengths to capture about 25 percent of a large worldwidemarket, estimated at $500 million, to overcome its late entryinto the hGH market, Fass said.

The company has sufficient cash to last into 1993, and alsoplans to form an alliance with a large pharmaceutical companyto support its new drug development programs, Fass said. TheBTG board has discussed creating a U.S. base of operations,possibly by a merger with a biotechnology company. However,BTG's low market capitalization of $21 million has moved thatidea to the back burner for now.

CORVAS PLANS MERGER WITH BELGIAN COMPANY

Privately held Corvas Inc. of San Diego said it plans to mergebefore March 31 with the drug design division of Plant GeneticSystems N.V. (PGS) of Ghent, Belgium.

A group of European investors, led by PGS shareholder GIMVN.V., will provide about $9 million in new equity.

The new company will combine PGS' cardiovasculartherapeutics program, which includes a new thrombolyticagent, with Corvas' efforts in clot prevention and treatmentbased on monoclonal antibody technology.

Corvas was founded in 1987 with $3.7 million in financing fromHambrecht & Quist, Venrock Associates, Ventana Growth Fund,Centocor Inc. and Sorrento Associates. It plans to file beforeJune for approval to begin clinical trials of its first anti-coagulant compound, Corsevin M.

BIOGEN EXPECTS ALPHA INTERFERON APPROVAL

Biogen Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., said it anticipates receivingU.S. marketing approval this year for alpha interferon to treathepatitis B and C. It plans to start clinical trials in a few monthsfor beta interferon to treat hepatitis.

Biogen (NASDAQ:BGEN) plans to report next week full 1990results, which will include $59.6 million in revenues and a $7.5million profit. For 1991, Biogen anticipates revenues of $74million and profits of $8.8 million.

CENTOCOR PRESIDENT PREDICTS LOSSES ...

James Wavle, president of Centocor Inc (NASDAQ: CNTO), saidthat quarterly losses should be expected during the anticipatedlaunch this year of Centoxin, its septic shock therapeutic.Centoxin and rival Xomen-E5 from Xoma Corp., are pendingFood and Drug Administration review. ... Immunex Corp.(NASDAQ:IMNX) said it plans to start late this year clinicaltrials of interleukin-1 receptor for treating organ graftrejection and fusion protein PIXY321, comprising interleukin-3and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor to raisewhite blood cell and platelet counts.

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

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