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CELANESE BACKING NOVA DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

Executive Summary

CELANESE BACKING NOVA DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT in the chemical firm's first health care venture, a $10 mil. investment in the Baltimore-based receptor technology company. "The two companies have agreed to explore the establishment of a joint venture company in the area of drug delivery systems," Nova stated in a March 26 press release. "The joint venture company would capitalize on Nova's pharmaceutical expertise and Celanese's expertise in polymer technology." One possible focus of the proposed joint venture, according to the release, is in the area of brain cancer. Nova recently acquired from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the rights to a biodegradable polymer that can be implanted in the brain during surgery to deliver a slow, timed release of chemotherapeutic drugs or antibodies directly to the tumor site ("The Pink Sheet" Jan. 27, "In Brief"). Under the terms of the agreement, Celanese will acquire a 4% interest in Nova for its $10 mil. investment, or approximately 751,000 shares at $13.11 per share. Celanese also has acquired options to purchase an additional 2.5 mil. Nova shares at $15.81 per share, which if exercised would increase its share in the firm by an additional 13%. Marion Labs also has an equity position in Nova under a research agreement reached in July 1984.
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