Arris Pharmaceutical Corp. and Sequana Therapeutics Inc. join up in a merger that creates a new company, Axys Pharmaceuticals, that "will be the first company integrated from gene to drug," according to a spokesman. Amersham Life Sciences and Pharmacia Biotech link up to form Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Ltd., a new company that "will be the largest biotechnology supplier in the world." Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc. acquires fellow pharmaceutical company Avid Corp., thereby gaining "access to a novel protease inhibitor [that] complements our portfolio of anti-HIV drug candidates," in the words of David Barry, Triangle's chairman and CEO. SmithKline Beecham PLC calls off merger talks with American Home Products Corp. to start discussions with Glaxo Wellcome PLC, only to have the deal dwindle to nothing as a result of basic policy disagreements.

Just another short season in the pharmaceuticals trade, with rumors of mergers, talks about mergers, and actual mergers dominating...

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