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FDA letter boosts Univax stockShares of Univax...


FDA letter boosts Univax stock

Shares of Univax Biologics Inc. rose 24 percent yesterday after the company said it received an encouraging letter from the Food and Drug Administration about its application for a new drug.

Shares of the Rockville-based developer of drugs and vaccines closed up $1.375, at $7. Volume was 123,400, almost four times the stock's average daily volume of 32,481.

Univax said Thursday that it received a letter from the FDA regarding its application for WinRho SD, a drug used to treat Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or ITP, which causes excessive bleeding, primarily in people with HIV/AIDS and in some children. The condition affects about 100,000 Americans every year.

IBM to close Ambra Computer

International Business Machines Corp. plans to close Ambra Computer Corp., its 2-year-old, low-cost mail-order personal computer business, within 90 days, the company said yesterday.

The move is part of the Armonk, N.Y.-based computer giant's plan to revamp its PC operations, said Michael Reiter, spokesman for IBM Personal Computer Co.

IBM earlier this week said it's consolidating its PC business in the face of slowing growth. It plans to dismiss 1,500 to 2,000 of the unit's 10,000 employees in the next 18 months. Most of the layoffs will be in the next six months, the company said.

Sale of drug for heartburn opposed

A scientific advisory committee yesterday opposed allowing nonprescription sales of the ulcer drug Pepcid as a heartburn remedy.

It was the third time this week that applications for over-the-counter drug sales have failed scrutiny.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted against an application by Merck and Co. to convert Pepcid, which has a chemical name of famotidine, citing conflicting data in studies about the effects of the drug.

Flagstar earns $347 million

Flagstar Cos. Inc., which owns Denny's and other restaurant chains, said yesterday it earned $347 million for the second quarter, largely because of one-time gains from sales of operations.

The income equals $6.88 a share, compared with a loss for the same quarter a year ago of $15.4 million, or 36 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter were almost $680 million, compared with $658 million in the year-ago quarter.

The Spartanburg, S.C.-based company's continuing operations lost $12.9 million, but it made $384 million from the sale of its Canteen Corp. food-service operation.


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