SCOLR Pharma said Thursday it has licensed its drug-delivery technology to Wyeth Consumer Healthcare for use in development of a longer-lasting Advil.

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SCOLR Pharma said Thursday it has licensed its drug-delivery technology to Wyeth Consumer Healthcare for use in development of a longer-lasting Advil.

“This is a significant achievement for us and a major milestone in terms of gaining an endorsement from a major pharmaceutical company,” said Dan Wilds, president and chief executive of the small Bellevue specialty pharmaceutical company.

Terms of the deal, which includes an up-front license fee, milestone payments and royalties, were not disclosed. The company said the global market for over-the-counter ibuprofen, where Advil is the dominant brand, is worth several billion dollars.

SCOLR shares climbed 38 cents, or 7.3 percent, to close at $5.56 Thursday.


Seattle multiplex

being sold

Theater operators AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex Entertainment have agreed to sell 10 theaters — including the Loews Meridian 16 in downtown Seattle — to clear the way for their proposed merger.

In an agreement with the Justice Department and attorneys general in Washington, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia, AMC and Loews will each sell five theaters with a combined 120 screens. Besides the Meridian 16, the theaters are in Chicago, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

Without the sale of the Meridian 16, the merger of the two chains would have given the combined company control of all the theaters in downtown Seattle. AMC owns the downtown Pacific Place 11; it also operates the Cinerama for owner Paul Allen.

The companies said Wednesday that the sales could take at least four months.


Company gets

Nasdaq warning

Bellevue-based Saflink, which develops biometric technology, said it received notice from Nasdaq that it is violating a requirement for being listed on the Nasdaq National Market because its stock has not traded at $1 or above for 30 days.

Saflink said it received a notice Dec. 16 that it was in violation and has until June 14 to regain compliance. To comply, its stock would have to close at or above $1 for at least 10 consecutive days. The last time it traded at $1 was Nov. 4.

The company’s stock fell 2 cents Thursday to close at 80 cents.

Rainier Pacific Bank

Bank to buy

insurance agencies

Rainier Pacific Bank in Tacoma said Wednesday that it plans to buy two insurance agencies in Pierce County, Christopherson-Boze Insurance Services and Holman Insurance Agency. They will continue to operate under their current names and in their existing locations in Gig Harbor and University Place.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press


Pacific Northwest


Entire company

won’t be sold

Albertsons is no longer considering a sale of the entire company, officials said late Thursday after CVS withdrew from talks to acquire the Sav-on and Osco drug chains.

The nation’s second-largest grocery-store company said it will continue talks with “several parties” interested in buying its underperforming divisions but had not gotten an offer it deemed suitable.

CVS, a Rhode Island-based company that has more than 5,400 retail and specialty pharmacy stores nationwide, had canceled a planned conference call with analysts Thursday morning after reports that Albertsons had ended talks with a group of investors on selling the company.

Dave Parker, Albertsons vice president of investor relations, said in a telephone interview that the Boise-based company decided against selling the whole company because it had not received a bid it found acceptable. He declined to elaborate on the talks or say who else had expressed an interest in Albertsons assets.

Revenue Science

$24 million raised

in venture funding

Revenue Science, formerly called DigiMine, said it has raised about $24.2 million in venture capital to help fund growth.

The Bellevue company this summer launched its targeting network that helps online publishers, like The Wall Street Journal, track users to help provide relevant advertising as they go from site to site.

The latest round of capital is the company’s fifth, bringing its total to $70 million. Investors include Meritech Capital Partners; Mohr, Davidow Ventures; Mayfield; and Integral Capital Partners. In total, the company has raised $70 million.


CFO appointed

as Dow director

Dow Chemical, the biggest U.S. chemical maker, said it named Boeing Chief Financial Officer James Bell to its board of directors effective immediately.

Bell, 57, will serve on the board’s environment, health and safety committee and on the audit committee, Midland, Mich.-based Dow said Thursday. Bell was named Boeing CFO in January 2004 and served as CFO and interim president and chief executive officer from March through June of this year.

Nation and World

Barrick / Placer Dome

Sweetened offer

is accepted

Barrick Gold, the world’s No. 3 gold producer, agreed on friendly terms to acquire Placer Dome after raising its offer for the Vancouver gold producer to $10.4 billion, the companies said Thursday. That deal prompted Vancouver, B.C.-based gold producer Goldcorp to buy certain mining assets from Barrick for just under $1.49 billion in cash.

In Thursday trading, shares of Placer Dome fell 31 cents to close at $22.34; and shares of Toronto-based Barrick fell 10 cents to close at $27.12.

The new $10.4 billion offer replaces Barrick’s last offer of about $9.4 billion that had been rejected by the board of Placer Dome, the world’s sixth-largest gold mining company. Under the agreed to terms, Placer shareholders will get either $22.50 in cash or 0.8269 of a Barrick common share plus 5 cents cash per share. Barrick, Canada’s biggest gold miner, has limited its cash for the offer at $1.34 billion and shares to be issued at 333 million.

Whirlpool / Maytag

Shareholders OK

appliance deal

Maytag shareholders on Thursday approved the company’s sale to rival appliance-maker Whirlpool, marking the end of independence for the iconic home-appliance maker that failed to overcome cheaper competitors and a waning of its trademark image for dependability.

If authorized by the government, Whirlpool will buy Maytag, founded in 1893 by farm tool maker Fred Maytag, for about $1.79 billion in cash and stock. Maytag, the nation’s third-largest appliance manufacturer, became the target of a bidding battle when a New York-based investment group offered to buy the company for $1.13 billion in May.

Whirlpool increased its offer three times until Maytag agreed to consider the deal.

Shares of Whirlpool rose 29 cents to close at $84.17 Thursday, where Maytag shares gained 33 cents to $19.10.


Proposal to buy

rival Siebel OK’d

The European Commission on Thursday cleared Oracle’s proposed $5.85 billion acquisition of business-software rival Siebel Systems, the last regulatory hurdle for the deal.

Oracle agreed in September to acquire Siebel, whose products help manage companies’ relations with customers.

The deal is part of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s drive to overtake Germany’s SAP as the world’s largest maker of business-applications software, which automates a wide range of administrative tasks. It won U.S. antitrust approval from the Department of Justice last month.

General Electric

$3.2 billion paid

for Arden Realty

General Electric has agreed to buy commercial real-estate investment trust Arden Realty for about $3.2 billion in cash in one of its largest U.S. real estate deals.

Arden says it is the largest publicly traded office landlord in Southern California, with 18.5 million square feet in 192 buildings.

GE’s real-estate group is one of its fastest-growing businesses, with about $48 billion in assets and more than $1 billion in profits last year. Much of the growth is taking place in Europe and Asia.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff, Bloomberg News and

The Associated Press