Among other items: The FDA has approved Bexxar for expanded use in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Weyerhaeuser agreed to pay $6.2 million for the cleanup of a Michigan river contaminated with PCBs; and Dun & Bradstreet yesterday named Steven Alesio as chief executive.

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Bothell-based Microvision said yesterday it will develop medical products using its imaging technology for Cincinnati-based Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Microvision will receive up to $6.2 million in fees under the arrangement.

The announcement sent Microvision’s stock up 19 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $7.19 yesterday.

Ethicon will have the option for an exclusive license to Microvision’s technology for human medical applications, excluding ophthalmology, and can extend the deal for development of a commercial product for an additional fee.

Corixa’s Bexxar approved for some patients

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Bexxar for expanded use in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Seattle-based Corixa transferred the drug last month to its partner, GlaxoSmithKline, because its sales fell short of expectations.

GlaxoSmithKline said the targeted radiation drug is now approved for use in relapsed, low-grade, follicular or transformed types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including patients who failed after taking the drug Rituxan. The previous drug label was structured for patients who had failed on Rituxan and relapsed following chemotherapy.

The FDA’s decision to allow expanded use was based on a clinical trial with 60 patients who had relapsed following chemotherapy. GlaxoSmithKline said 47 percent of the patients responded to Bexxar therapy for a median time of 12 months.

New entity given timberland control

After 18 months in bankruptcy proceedings, Crown Pacific was dissolved Dec. 31, and its remaining 522,000 acres of timberland was transferred to a new entity called Cascade Timberlands.

Cascade, owned by the secured creditors of Crown Pacific, has hired Olympic Resource Management of Poulsbo, Kitsap County, to manage the three tree farms in Washington and Oregon. Together the companies will determine whether to sell or hold the properties.

Weyerhaeuser to pay millions for river cleanup

Timber giant Weyerhaeuser agreed to pay $6.2 million for the cleanup of a Michigan river contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl, known as PCBs, the federal government said.

As part of the settlement, Federal Way-based Weyerhaeuser also will clean up a mill and a landfill near the Kalamazoo River that contain hundreds of thousands of pounds of PCBs, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said in an e-mailed statement. Bruce Amundson, a company spokesman, didn’t return a message left on voice mail.

Weyerhaeuser is one of several companies responsible for contamination at the site, the statement said. The settlement doesn’t resolve the company’s liability for PCB contamination at sites outside the mill and landfill or natural-resource damage, the statement said.


Holiday online sales up 25 percent, survey finds

U.S. online retailers rang up holiday sales of $23.2 billion, up 25 percent from the 2003 season, according to a new survey released yesterday by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings.

Their eSpending Report was based on weekly surveys of more than 1,000 respondents and covered Nov. 1 to Dec. 26. Unlike other surveys, it included data from auction site eBay, the Internet’s most popular U.S. retail site.

Consumers spent $3.76 billion in the apparel category, which contributed the largest share of online dollars at 16 percent. Toys and video games grabbed 11 percent of total spending with $2.53 billion. Consumer electronics was third at 10 percent with $2.31 billion.

eBay and — which has announced it had record-breaking holiday sales — were again the dominant Web retailers, said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings.

Sirius aims to double subscribers this year

Sirius Satellite Radio, the second-biggest pay-radio company, said it will double subscribers this year after ending 2004 with 1.14 million, exceeding its target of 1 million.

The company credited retail sales, more awareness about the benefits of satellite radio and recognition by consumers of the company’s programming, New York-based Sirius said in a statement. It added 480,969 subscribers in the fourth quarter.

Sirius has spent more than $720 million in the past 12 months on new programming, including National Football League games and radio personality Howard Stern.

United Airlines reach new contracts with two small unions

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — United Airlines said yesterday it has reached agreements on new labor contracts with two small employee unions representing about 200 flight dispatchers and meteorologists. The agreements are up for ratification votes by union members.

Bankruptcy court hearings are scheduled to start Friday on United’s motion to invalidate existing contracts and have its preferred terms imposed by a judge if no agreements have been reached by then.

Steven Alesio to be new Dun & Bradstreet CEO, chairman

Dun & Bradstreet, one of the world’s largest suppliers of business information, services and research, yesterday named Steven Alesio as chief executive.

Alesio succeeded Allan Loren as CEO. Loren remains chairman until May, when Alesio will take over that post too.

Compiled from Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Associated Press and Dow Jones Newswires.