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Businessweek Archives

Steven Gillis: In The Pink At Corixa

In Business This Week: Headliner

Steven Gillis: In the Pink at Corixa

In the death-defying world of biotech startups, Steven Gillis is a true survivor. The founder and chief executive of Seattle's Corixa has seen it all: drug failures, hostile capital markets, and even the unexpected emergence of a rival during an initial public offering. "I have been dead many times," Gillis says.

Right now, though, he's very much in the pink. On Oct. 16, Corixa announced plans to buy South San Francisco's Coulter Pharmaceuticals for $900 million. The deal--one of the largest ever in biotech--will bring Corixa a beefed-up sales force and a promising new drug, Bexxar, that fights non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The Food & Drug Administration is expected to approve Bexxar in November, and the drug could reach the market next year. It would join a stable of Corixa products aimed at cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, making the company "a major force in the emerging field of immunotherapy," Gillis crows. Analysts say Coulter will give Corixa critical mass in a fiercely competitive industry. Or so Gillis hopes.By Andy Reinhardt; Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top

Got Those Big Blue Blues

Investors in Big Blue are singing the blues. IBM shares dropped more than 15% on Oct. 18 after the company reported third-quarter earnings that met expectations, but showed weaker revenue growth. The biggest problems: microchip and software sales. The dollar's strength against the euro and the yen also trimmed growth. Those issues are likely to linger well into the fourth quarter, spurring many analysts to scale back their estimates going forward. Still, the depressing news for shareholders spells opportunity for IBM's new president, Samuel Palmisano. After just a month on the job, Palmisano can't be blamed for the company's problems. But he'll sure look great if he can pull Big Blue out of its big funk.Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top

It's Easy Being Green

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Seven big industrial companies, including BP Amoco and DuPont, said on Oct. 17 that they're voluntarily cutting their emissions of greenhouse gases. Their progress will be monitored by an independent third party. By taking voluntary action now, the companies may influence the outcome of future congressional legislation to combat global warming, says Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust. Also joining the new Partnership for Climate Action are Shell, Alcan, Pechiney, Suncor Energy, and Ontario Power Generation.Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top

Delta Spreads out at JFK

Delta Air Lines will spend $1.6 billion to expand and renovate its two terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The expansion, to be completed in 2004, will enhance Delta's presence in New York, the biggest U.S. airline market. By 2005, Delta will offer more than 175 daily departures from JFK, up from 57 today.

Delta's JFK project is part of the Atlanta-based carrier's growth initiative in the Northeast, where it is also spending $385 million to improve its facility at Boston's Logan International Airport.Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top

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