Diagnostic Products Acquisition Completed

Siemens AG has completed its purchase of Los Angeles-based Diagnostic Products Corp., the company announced. Diagnostic Products shareholders last week approved the merger, where each share of Diagnostic Products common stock is exchanged for a cash payment of $58.50. The purchase marks the German company's entrance into the in-vitro diagnostics market. Diagnostic Products develops, manufactures and distributes automated body fluid analyzers and tests, such as those related to cancer and cardiac disease, as well as hormone and allergy conditions.


Staar Enters China
Monrovia-based ophthalmic products maker Staar Surgical Co. said it has received approval from the State Food and Drug Administration of the People's Republic of China to market its Staar Visian ICL implantable contact lens to ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals. The collamer lens treats nearsightedness and is being marketed to patients for those who are not good laser surgery candidates. The company had established a training center, as well as a regional distribution operation in China, with plans to begin procedures this month.


Amgen Signs Licensing Agreement
Amgen Inc. has signed a development deal with Predix Pharmaceuticals Inc. that will be worth more than $300 million to Predix if certain milestones are met. Lexington, Mass.-based Predix has four drug candidates in clinical trials focused on anxiety disorder, Alzheimer's disease, pulmonary hypertension and obesity.


Thousand Oaks-based Amgen will cover clinical development and commercialization expenses, and $20 million in up front costs. Predix can receive up additional payments if the drugs under development meet certain clinical, regulatory and sales milestones. The company also can earn royalties on future sales of products resulting from the collaboration. Predix is set to merge with Cambridge, Mass.-based Epix Pharmaceuticals Inc. this summer in a $90 million deal.


CytRx Reports Vaccine Progress
Los Angeles-based biopharmaceutical developer CytRx Corp. said an early-stage study of a possible HIV vaccine showed positive results. The study showed the vaccine, based on DNA technology, was effective at producing immune responses to the virus and was well-tolerated. The results will be filed with the Food and Drug Administration in August. The trial began in April 2004 on the compound, DP6-001, developed by researchers at University of Massachusetts Medical School and Advanced Bioscience Laboratories.

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