Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

December 16, 2008

Columbia-based Celsion has deal with Japan firm

Columbia-based drug maker Celsion Corp. said yesterday that Japanese pharmaceutical firm Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd has agreed to pay up to $20.5 million in licensing fees for the rights to market Celsion's liver cancer treatment, ThermoDox, to the Japanese market. ThermoDox is in a phase 3 clinical trial in the U.S. for liver cancer as well as a phase 2 trial for recurrent chest wall breast cancer. Yakult will pay Celsion $2.5 million, followed by $18 million once ThermoDox gains approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to treat primary liver cancer. Additional payments are tied to various sales goals. Tokyo-based Yakult is required to complete all development and clinical requirements in Japan and apply for marketing approval for the use of ThermoDox. Primary liver cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in Japan among adults, according to the National Cancer Center of Japan.

Lorraine Mirabella

Technology company moving to Abingdon

Technology company Environics USA Inc. said yesterday that it is relocating its U.S. operation to Abingdon from Port Orange, Fla. The company is owned by Finland-based Environics Oy. The company manufactures chemical sensors and detection instruments and turn-key CBRN detection networks for the civil and military defense industry. It employs eight people but plans to expand to as many as 20 during the next couple of years.

Andrea K. Walker

Mattel settles with Md. over tainted toys

NEW YORK: Toy maker Mattel Inc. will pay $12 million to 39 states, including Maryland, to settle an investigation over Chinese-made lead-tainted toys shipped to the U.S. in 2007, state officials said yesterday. Maryland will receive $234,815 as part of the settlement. Mattel and its Fisher Price unit recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys last year, beginning in August, fearing the items were tainted with lead paint and tiny magnets that children could accidentally swallow. All the affected toys were pulled off shelves by December 2007. As part of the agreement, Mattel also agreed to lower the acceptable level of lead in toys shipped to the states to 90 parts per million down from 600 parts per million, which is the federal standard. When new regulations go into place next year, however, the federal standard will also fall to 90 parts per million. "Parents need to know that the toys that they are purchasing for their children are safe," Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said in a statement.

Associated Press

Homebuilder sentiment remains at record low

LOS ANGELES : A key gauge of homebuilders' confidence remained at a record low this month. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index held at nine in December for the second month in a row. Index readings higher than 50 indicate positive sentiment about the market. But the index has drifted below 20 since April.

Associated Press

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