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Scolr Pharma said Thursday that it will receive about $4.1 million from a buyout of the lease at its Bellevue offices.

The company expects to use the money that’s left after moving to new headquarters to help fund its operations, according to a statement. The net proceeds, coupled with the company’s existing cash reserves, will cover expenses through 2009.

Scolr, which develops pharmaceutical and nutritional products, said it will receive a $1 million upfront payment and $3.1 million when it vacates its premises by Oct. 31. The firm said it wants to move to a “more cost-effective facility in the Seattle area.”

The Seattle Times

Blethen named associate publisher

Ryan Blethen, associate editorial page editor of The Seattle Times, has been named associate publisher.

He will oversee the company’s daily newspapers in Yakima and Walla Walla and weekly newspaper in Issaquah, and will join the company’s Strategic Operating Council, The Times announced Thursday. He also will maintain his editorial-page and columnist responsibilities.

Blethen, 35, is the son of Times Publisher Frank Blethen. He has worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Spokane, Yakima and Portland, Maine.

The Blethen family has owned a controlling interest in The Times since 1896.

Boeing

5th Dreamliner nears completion

Boeing announced Thursday the beginning of final assembly in Everett of the fifth 787 Dreamliner, which will be the third flight-test airplane.

Two ground-test airplanes that will never fly are also under assembly.

The static test airframe moved from the assembly line April 25 into a test rig in another assembly bay, allowing the planes behind it — the fatigue test airplane and the second flight-test airplane — to move forward one position.

After assembly is complete, the fifth 787 will be fitted with an interior and become the first Dreamliner to be configured much as the jet will look upon delivery to airlines.

Meanwhile, Boeing said, Dreamliner No. 1 is on track to have its electrical systems turned on next month, with an expected first flight around October.

Boeing also said that Jack Jones, who formerly directed pre-flight operations and delivery of all airplanes rolled out in Everett, is now vice president in charge of 787 Final Assembly, replacing Steve Westby, who retired from Boeing on Wednesday after a 31-year career.

Oncothyreon

Company seeks drug-trial OK

Oncothyreon said Thursday that it requested permission from federal regulators to begin a new early-stage clinical trial for its anti-cancer compound PX-866.

The compound has shown anti-tumor activity in models of ovarian and lung cancer during pre-clinical studies, the company said.

The Bellevue company’s shares fell 16 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $3.36.

Saltchuk Resources

Airline cargo unit will be purchased

Saltchuk Resources announced Thursday it had worked out a deal to buy Aloha Airlines’ cargo operation, which shut down Monday.

The Seattle company, the parent company of Hawaii’s biggest interisland ocean shipper, said it had obtained the consent of Aloha’s main lender, GMAC Commercial Finance.

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

The purchase of the service that carried 85 percent of Hawaii’s interisland air-cargo needs to be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which was considering the arrangement Thursday.

Last week, Saltchuk pulled out of an auction for the cargo service after its $13 million offer was outbid by another company. The auction ended with no winner.

Saltchuk President Tim Engle said his company’s interest was revived by the efforts of Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and his staff members.

Aloha filed for bankruptcy and then closed down its passenger service in March.

Nation and World

Adobe Systems

Chip, wireless deal worked out

Adobe Systems, maker of the Flash video software, forged an alliance with chip makers and mobile-phone companies to make it easier to create applications that work across personal computers, mobile phones and set-top boxes.

Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm and Sony Ericsson are among the companies in the Open Screen Project, Adobe said in a statement.

The project will allow application developers to create programs that work on devices from different companies. To help promote Flash, Adobe said it will remove some restrictions on the software and end licensing fees.

Adobe, with a campus in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, faces new competition in the mobile-video market from Microsoft, which said in March that Nokia would install its Silverlight video software on smart phones.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in March that to be useful on Apple’s iPhone, Adobe needs to develop a third version of Flash with features that fall between the PC version and Flash Lite. Adobe declined to say if it is working on such a product.

Home Depot

Store closures, job cuts planned

Home Depot, the world’s biggest home-improvement retailer, will close 15 stores, scrap plans for 50 more and eliminate 1,300 jobs as the U.S. housing slump cripples sales.

But the Atlanta-based chain maintained its forecast for a decline in earnings per share of 19 to 24 percent this year.

Since taking over in January 2007, Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake sold the company’s commercial-builder unit and closed landscape and floor outlets to focus on retail stores, where customer service trails that of Lowe’s. Home Depot lost 33 percent of its market value last year.

Home Depot rose $1.07, or 3.7 percent, to $29.87 on Thursday.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News