DISCOVERIES: Biotech Sleuths Snare a Virus

Biotech Sleuths Snare a Virus

It may not have the national recognition of a Genentech or Cetus, but Chiron Corp., a small genetic-engineering firm (1987 sales: $20 million) in Emeryville, Calif., has had more than its share of biotech success. Two years ago, a preparation it developed with New Jersey-based Merck to ward off the liver-damaging effects of hepatitis B became the first genetically engineered vaccine to win Food and Drug Administration approval for use in humans.

Now Chiron appears to have done it again. Capping more than five years of intensive detective work, the company announced last week that it had isolated and cloned proteins...

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