Cancer researcher says vessel inhibition will have adjunct...

Business Digest

April 13, 1999

Cancer researcher says vessel inhibition will have adjunct role

M. Judah Folkman, the Harvard University researcher whose findings are the basis for EntreMed Inc.'s experimental anti-cancer drugs, told a meeting of cancer experts yesterday that he believes his approach of targeting tumors' ability to set up a blood supply may some day be used in combination with radiation and other cancer therapies.

Folkman made his remarks at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Philadelphia. About 1,000 attended Folkman's speech.

Rockville-based EntreMed shares closed yesterday at $26.50, up $1.75.

The two anti-cancer drugs that EntreMed is developing have not been tested in humans yet. Results in mice studies showed promise for the approach. Genentech Inc. and Bayer AG have similar drugs in advanced human testing.

Hughes Network Systems plans Internet satellites

A local subsidiary of California-based Hughes Electronic Corp. is planning to develop Spaceway, a network of satellites for speedy Internet service.

Hughes Network Systems will develop the first phase of Spaceway at a cost of $1.4 billion. The company will add 500 employees to its offices in Germantown, Gaithersburg and Rockville by the end of the year.

Spaceway plans to launch three satellites in geosynchronous orbits over North America and have them up and running by 2002. The next year, the project is to go global with more satellites and a $4 billion budget.

North American Vaccine to seek U.K. vaccine sales

North American Vaccine Inc. said yesterday that it anticipates a fourth-quarter filing for approval to market its meningitis vaccine in the United Kingdom.

Chief Executive Officer Randal Chase said the company had moved up its time frame for seeking U.K. approval because of "several promising meetings with regulatory and public health authorities."

The Columbia company, which has one childhood vaccine on the market in the United States and some European countries, said its vaccine for group C meningitis would be aimed at preventing Britain's leading cause of death among children. The company said U.K. health statistics show that between 35 percent and 45 percent of the 1,000 childhood cases of the infectious disease per year are caused by group C meningitis. About half the college-age students who contract the disease have the group C strain, North American Vaccine said.

NYSE, Instinet hold talks on trading Nasdaq securities

The New York Stock Exchange is in talks to form a joint venture with Reuters Group PLC's Instinet Corp. and three other electronic networks to trade securities listed on the Nasdaq stock market, NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso said yesterday.

Grasso said he expects an agreement in the next few months that would make it possible for institutional investors such as Fidelity Investments and the Vanguard Group to use the Big Board as "a platform" to buy and sell non-NYSE stocks, such as Nasdaq-listed Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., on the networks.

An alliance with electronic networks would heighten competition between the Big Board -- the world's largest stock market -- and the National Association of Securities Dealers, which operates the NYSE's biggest U.S. rivals, Nasdaq and the American Stock Exchange. The NYSE and NASD have been exploring alliances with overseas exchanges, expanded trading hours, and other steps to better attract trading and company listings.

Cable operator Adelphia to pay $1 billion for Harron

Cable television operator Adelphia Communications Corp. said yesterday that it agreed to buy Harron Communications Corp.'s cable systems for $1.17 billion, expanding Adelphia's coverage of New England and the Philadelphia area.

The deal is Adelphia's second major acquisition in five weeks. In early March, the company agreed to acquire Century Communications Corp. for $5.2 billion in stock and cash. With recently announced acquisitions, Adelphia said it will become the fourth-largest cable TV operator in the United States with about 5 million subscribers.

When the Harron deal closes, expected during the March 2000 quarter, Harron should have about 300,000 basic subscribers in New England, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the companies said.

Justice Department OKs Lucent, Ascend merger

Lucent Technologies Inc. and Ascend Communications Inc. said yesterday that they have received antitrust clearance for their proposed merger from the U.S. Department of Justice.

On April 9, the European Commission approved the merger of the telecommunications networking systems firms.

When the deal was announced in January, Lucent's acquisition of Ascend was valued at $20 billion. Lucent's stock price has rallied since then, giving the deal a higher value. The merger is expected to be completed in the quarter ending June 30, pending approval by Ascend shareowners.

GM to spend $400 million on Texas truck, SUV plant

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