Gene Logic Teams With Roche

Gene Logic, which helps drugmakers develop their treatments, said it made a deal with Roche Holding to seek alternative uses for drugs the Swiss pharmaceutical firm dropped during clinical trials. Gaithersburg-based Gene Logic will get money for each drug Roche decides to return to clinical trials, and royalties if a product goes to market. The deal also gives Gene Logic an exclusive license to any drug candidate Roche chooses not to pursue.


Choice Hotels Expands Buyback Plan

Choice Hotels International, owner of brands including Comfort Inn and Quality Inn, said it increased the amount of shares it can buy back from investors by 3 million, bringing the total amount it can repurchase to 5.1 million.

The company said the increase gives it more flexibility "to take advantage of market conditions to further enhance shareholder value." The shares may be used for acquisitions, stock-based employee and director benefit plans, and other general corporate purposes.

Ciena of Linthicum, a provider of network services, lost $252.9 million (44 cents a share) in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, down from a loss of $495 million (87 cents) in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Revenue increased 44 percent to $118.2 million. Results for the recent quarter include a $176.6 million write-off for impairment of goodwill. For the year, the company lost $435.7 million (76 cents), down from a loss of $789.5 million ($1.51). Revenue for the year increased 43 percent to $427.3 million.

The company has been making a costly transition away from its roots as a maker of fiber-optic telecommunications equipment. Despite the continued losses, chief executive Gary Smith said the latest results "demonstrate Ciena's steady progress toward profitability and positive cash flow." Ciena shares closed at $3.04, down 2 cents or 0.7 percent.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.