Published: Wednesday 31 May 1995

BIOTECH: Yet another drug company in the US has linked its lot with a biotech firm in a bid to expand its product line. Schering Plough Corp has forged a deal with COR Therapeutics Inc, agreeing to pay a whopping US $120 million to gain access to COR's experimental heart drug Integrelin. US $26 million will be deposited as soon as & papers are finalised and the additional pay- ments will be tied to milestones in the drug's, development, which is expected to cost US $100 million. Integrelin is being developed as an agent to prevent and treat blood dots in the coronary arteries.

PIGGING OUT: Stuff yourself with pork, poultry and beef without fear, for the last of the disease-causing bacteria are. due to be taken care of, says Frigo-sca"a, the frontrunning Swedish food-processing equipment manufacturer, which recently joined hands with Cargill Inc, the US food processing giant. The process of a fooldeveloping proof method of treating animal flesh uses a blanket of steam to pasteurise the surface of carcasses. This method, which can be retrofitted easily, also uses considerably less energy and water than the hot-water bath technology currently in operation.

WIRELESS PUFFS: If you are staying in the backwaters of the planet where laying hands on even a couple of batteries is a miracle, don't worry - you can still listen to the radio. This is the message that the Johannesburgbased Bay-Gen Power Co is "transmitting" to wireless-buffs in the backward nations. BayGen has just launched a batteryless radio with a handle on its back. A single twist of the handle is required to get the unit warbling. A steel spring unwinds and the resulting torque drives a generator that powers an electric motor capable of generating enough electricity to power a motor.

CONTRACT FARMING: In a bid to implement the newfangled concept of 'contract farming' in India, 20 men from Bombay set up Garsons, a chicken farm in Kadade village in Pune district, on April 23. Promoted by Shirish and Harish Garware, the complex is located on a sprawling 50 acre spread and is equipped with ultra-modern poultry units for each of the 20 founder@shareholders. The farm 'will primarily raise chicken and other agro-assets.
Each shareholder will be involved in raising flocks of 21,000 commercial broiler chicken every 6 weeks with day-old chicks being provided by a nearby chicken processing company. The contract includes a buyback agreement.
Modern techniques at the farm includes chicks drinking from a driptype &-vice ensuring no wastage of water. Each holder is expected to make ks 20,000 a month and the project's turnover is estimated at an annuafRs 10 crores.

PHARMACEUTICALS: Even a rousing con troversy has not deterred Sandoz, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, from intro ducing Leponex, an anti-psychotic drug, in India, likely to hit the mar ket in June. Recommended to treat chronic schizophrenia, the drug ran headlong into a controversy in the '70s after 8 Finnish patients died from agranulocytosis, a fatal side effect of the drug which reduces the number of white blood cells (WBC).

Patients on Leponex will be monitored and will have to undergo a blood test weekly to check their WBC count. The price of the drug is yet to be fixed although it is available at Rs 80 per 100 mg in the international market. For Sandoz, Leponex is proving to be a real money-spinner as it is the firm's 2nd largest selling drug in the global market.

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