STOCKS

Sunrise Senior Living Starts Buyback Program

Sunrise Senior Living said its board approved a $50 million repurchase program through the end of 2007.

Under the plan, the McLean assisted-living-services company said it will buy back either its common stock or 5.25 percent convertible subordinated notes due in 2009.

Sunrise said it expects to fund the repurchases from cash on hand and from operations, as well as from proceeds from any exercised stock options and other available funds.

PERSONNEL

Freddie Mac Hires Former Treasury Official

Freddie Mac hired Timothy S. Bitsberger, the former assistant secretary for financial markets at the U.S. Treasury, as its treasurer.

Bitsberger will replace Louise Herrle, who left the McLean company in September 2004 to join a unit of General Motors. Bitsberger will report to Patricia Cook, an executive vice president of investments and capital markets, Freddie Mac said.

Virginia Bank's Director Resigns After Arrest

Virginia Commerce Bancorp of Arlington said Frank L. Cowles Jr. resigned from the bank's board after being arrested at his home near Charlottesville and charged with conspiracy to defraud an Illinois investment manager. The parent company of Virginia Commerce Bank said the arrest was a "personal matter unrelated to his service as director" and that Cowles denied the charge. Cowles could not be reached for comment.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Firm Calls Three Treatments Promising

Human Genome Sciences, a Rockville biotech company, said that two separate potential treatments for cancer were safe and well tolerated in early-stage human testing to treat advanced solid tumors. The company also released expanded results from its mid-stage human testing of LymphoStat-B on rheumatoid arthritis patients. The drug reduced signs and symptoms of the disease by as much as 35 percent, the company said. Shares of Human Genome Sciences closed yesterday at $9.03, up 21 cents.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.