Centocor Beats Out Xoma

A Food & Drug Administration advisory committee recommended approval of Centocor's antibody-based drug to treat serious wound infections, called sepsis--and denied approval to Xoma for a similar therapy. Centocor's drug, Centoxin, was recommended for treatment of gram-negative bacteremia, an infection of the blood. Sepsis affects nearly 500,000 people yearly; about two-thirds of those are gram-negative. Competition between the two had been heated. Xoma has brought a patent infringement suit against Centocor. Xoma's stock fell 5 points on the news, to 15 1/2; Centocor's rose 3, to 40 1/2.

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