The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following action.
Applications for approval of transactions: The FTC has received an application for approval for a transaction from the following entity. The FTC is seeking public comments on the newly-received application for 30 days, until Aug. 14.
Novartis AG, a Swiss firm, and Chiron Corporation, of Emeryville, California, have applied for FTC approval to license specified gene therapy technology and patent rights to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Licensing of the technology is required under an April 1997 consent order settling charges that the merger of Ciba Geigy Ltd. and Sandoz Ltd., which merged under the name Novartis, would reduce competition in the development and commercialization of certain gene therapy products which are expected to begin offering significant improvements in the treatment of cancer and other diseases and medical conditions by the year 2000. Chiron, 46.5 percent of which is owned by Novartis, will license HSV-tk gene therapy products to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. The licensing requirement is designed to restore competition for the development and commercialization of gene therapy treatments for cancer and graft versus host disease research and treatment. (See Dec. 17, 1996 news release for more details regarding this case; Docket No. C-3725) Staff contact is Roberta Baruch 202-326-2861.
Comments on the application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, at the same address; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
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