Pacific Northwest Cell Therapeutics said Thursday it had appointed biotech veteran Craig W. Philips as its new president, effective Aug...

Share story

Pacific Northwest

Cell Therapeutics

Cell Therapeutics said Thursday it had appointed biotech veteran Craig W. Philips as its new president, effective Aug. 1.

Phillips’ most recent job was as vice president and general manager of Bayer Healthcare Oncology, and previously he was a top executive at Berlex Oncology.

Philips will head development of oncology drugs, sales and marketing, and finance, the Seattle biotech said.

Founder James Bianco, now president and CEO, will retain his title as chief executive.

Cell Therapeutics is working to increase sales of its recently acquired radio-immunotherapy, Zevalin. Its shares have suffered in recent months after the company restructured its debt, and Nasdaq recently warned it could be delisted if the shares remain below $1.

Puget Sound Energy

From manure to electric power

Puget Sound Energy says it has an agreement with a Mount Vernon company to produce electric power from manure from dairies.

The deal with Farm Power Northwest could generate enough power for 1,000 households or a city the size of LaConner.

The Bellevue utility will purchase the electricity and the resulting renewable energy credits.

The cow manure will be processed in a digester that produces methane gas to fuel generators.

Farm Power says it has manure commitments from four dairies and is building a digester near Mount Vernon.

President Kevin Maas says it should be a long-term source of renewable energy.

Nation and World

Energy

Gas prices jump, crude oil falls

Gasoline prices shot up to yet another record at the pump Thursday, while crude oil fell more than $2 a barrel.

At the pump, the average national price of a gallon of regular gas jumped 2.3 cents overnight to $3.556 a gallon, according to a survey of stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices have risen nearly 14 cents in one week.

Oil fell $2.24 to $116.06 in New York trading Thursday.

Triarc Companies

Arby’s owner snags Wendy’s at last

After at least two rejections, billionaire Nelson Peltz has finally succeeded in landing Wendy’s in a $2.3 billion deal that would add the chain known for its square burger and chocolate Frosty dessert to his ownership of Arby’s and its roast-beef sandwiches.

Peltz, known for agitating corporations to boost their stock price, now has to figure out how to make both chains profitable while the economy slumps and more people are saving money on food and fuel by staying home to eat.

Atlanta-based Triarc Companies, owned by Peltz, said Thursday it will pay about $2.34 billion in an all-stock deal for the nation’s third-largest hamburger chain, started in 1969 by Dave Thomas.

Wendy’s had rejected at least two buyout offers from Triarc.

Thomas’ daughter Pam Thomas Farber said her father would “not be amused.”

Motorola

Loss grows wider as phone sales fall

Struggling cellphone maker Motorola disappointed investors Thursday when it posted a wider first-quarter loss and failed to meet revenue forecasts.

The report sent shares down more than 5 percent, before they rebounded slightly.

The suburban Chicago company, in the midst of a massive reorganization that includes splitting itself into two publicly traded companies, said it lost $194 million, or 9 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31.

That’s 7 percent more than a year earlier, when it lost $181 million, or 8 cents a share. Excluding one-time charges related to massive job cuts, the company would have lost 5 cents a share.

Sales fell 21 percent to $7.45 billion, down from $9.43 billion a year ago.

The performance fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Amgen

Warnings on drugs hold down results

Amgen, the world’s largest biotech company in sales, reported first-quarter profit Thursday that topped Wall Street expectations, though they were nearly flat as sales of the company’s embattled anemia drugs plunged.

The sales drop came as warning labels on the drugs were expanded to limit their recommended use to patients with incurable cancers.

Aranesp sales fell 25 percent to $761 million.

First-quarter Epogen sales fell 11 percent to $554 million after bringing in $625 million during the same quarter a year earlier.

Total product sales were off about 1 percent to $3.54 billion compared with last year’s first quarter, the company said.

Amgen shares were up 54 cents in early after-hours trading after closing down 29 cents at $42.40 before the results were announced.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press