Business Digest


March 02, 2006|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Maryland: Biotechnology

GenVec gets grant to develop vaccine

GenVec Inc. announced yesterday that the U.S. Agriculture Department has contributed $1.7 million to help the Gaithersburg biopharmaceutical company develop a vaccine thought to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, an infection that affects cloven-hooved animals, such as cows.

Tricia Bishop

MedImmune moves to shield executives

MedImmune Inc. of Gaithersburg, which some analysts describe as a prime takeover target, has for the second time in two months taken action to protect executives should the biotechnology company be acquired. This time, it has amended the contract of Chairman Wayne T. Hockmeyer to say he is entitled to a hefty severance fee if he is terminated within 36 months after a change in control of the company. The previous agreement had set a year time limit for termination. In December, MedImmune also increased the amount executives could receive if fired after being acquired.

Tricia Bishop


Dialysis Corp. buys 2 kidney centers

Linthicum-based Dialysis Corp. of America yesterday announced that it had bought two kidney treatment centers, located in nursing homes in Baltimore and Arnold. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company said it had acquired the centers, with 12 treatment stations, from a local nephrologist. Dialysis Corp., which has been growing through acquisition and through building new centers, has centers in seven states, including Chevy Chase and Rockville in Maryland. It has five more centers scheduled to open this year, including one in Baltimore.

M. William Salganik


Hanger Orthopedic net is $6.8 million

Hanger Orthopedic Group Inc. of Bethesda yesterday posted net income applicable to common stock of $6.8 million, or 30 cents a diluted share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. Without a tax benefit from carry-forward of operating losses in the past, earnings would have been 14 cents a share. That compares with $2.6 million, or 12 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2004. For the year, net income was $11.9 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with a loss of $28.0 million, or $1.30 a share, for 2004. Revenue for the quarter was $149.2 million, up 2.3 percent from $145.9 million in the year-earlier period. For the year, revenue was $578.2 million, up 1.7 percent from $568.7 million in 2004.

M. William Salganik


TEDCO awards $406,087 for projects

The Maryland Technology Development Corp. announced yesterday that it has awarded $406,087 to eight researchers from the University System of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University. The money will help the recipients test their technologies and develop prototypes to prepare them for possible transfer into the commercial world. TEDCO has made 60 such awards since 2001. Forty-three of the projects have been completed and 15 of them, licensed to private companies. The projects in this round include efforts to create a permanent tooth cavity filling and a chip meant to increase the capacity of the millions of miles of optical fiber laid in the United States.

Tricia Bishop


Baltimore extends monitoring effort

The Baltimore City Health Department announced yesterday that it would extend its monitoring of the new Medicare prescription program for at least another month, through the end of March. So far, the department said, it has dealt with 124 "significant" problems, most involving people who were not correctly transferred from Medicaid to Medicare coverage, or who were overcharged because the Medicare computer didn't show they were eligible for low-income subsidies. Of those 124 problems, however, only seven have come since Feb. 9. And after paying out about $1,000 a week for several weeks for emergency prescriptions, the Health Department paid about $1,000 total over the last two weeks. Overall, it has paid for prescriptions for 36 patients at a cost of $7,057. The program maintains a hot line for pharmacists and, if necessary, pays for emergency prescriptions.

M. William Salganik

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