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Business news in brief

In the Region

Adolor cuts 28 percent of its staff

Adolor Corp. said it reduced its workforce by 45 employees, or 28 percent, to save about $12 million a year and shift resources away from early-stage research. The Exton biopharmaceutical company will now focus on later-stage products, such as its constipation drug Entereg, which it began selling in mid-2008. Adolor said it expected to record onetime expenses of up to $6 million related to severance for the laid-off employees, who worked in Exton, and changes to laboratory space it will no longer use. The company posted a loss of $13.2 million in the first quarter this year compared with a loss of $9.1 million in last year's first quarter. - Sonja Ryst

Radian Guaranty beefs up sales force

Radian Guaranty Inc., the mortgage-insurance subsidiary of Radian Group Inc., Philadelphia, added 13 local account managers to its sales force, a 21 percent increase. The new hires - who have a combined 193 years of experience in the field - are based throughout the United States, including Alaska. A company spokesman said the sales force was expanded so Radian could diversify its customer base to include credit unions and commercial banks. - Harold Brubaker

Bancorp to buy Chicago-based bank

The Bancorp Inc., Wilmington, said it had agreed to buy American Home Bank from the bankrupt subprime-mortgage lender American Home Mortgage Holdings Inc. for $7 million to $11 million. American Home Bank is a federal savings bank in Chicago with $100 million in assets at the end of March, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Bancorp, which has a Delaware charter, said buying American Home would give it a national platform. Bancorp had $1.76 billion in assets at the end of March. The deal requires approval by various government agencies. - Harold Brubaker

ViroPharma: FDA wants new study

The Food and Drug Administration wants ViroPharma Inc. to run another clinical trial of its Cinryze before it will consider a new approval for the drug, the Exton company said. Cinryze treats hereditary angioedema, a genetic disease that can cause dangerous swelling in the throat and extremities. The drug was approved in October as a routine preventive treatment for angioedema attacks, and ViroPharma is trying to gain additional marketing approval for the drug as a treatment for acute attacks. The FDA wants a new clinical trial because the placebo-controlled study included in ViroPharma's application was not strong enough, ViroPharma said. - AP

Antares Pharma gets warning

Antares Pharma Inc., Ewing, N.J., said it had received a noncompliance notice Tuesday from the New York Stock Exchange's Amex exchange. The company, which focuses on drug-delivery technology, said it was told that its stockholders' equity of less than $6 million and losses, including net losses in its five most recent years, had warranted the delisting warning. Antares said it would seek to retain its listing and submit a plan by the July 1 deadline. Shares closed up 11 cents, or 18.33 percent, at 71 cents. - Roslyn Rudolph

Malvern unit receives contract

A Johnson Matthey Inc. business unit in Malvern said it received a $500,000 contract for a piece of equipment to reduce the emissions of carbon monoxide from an electricity generator in Orlando by Babcock Power Inc. - Harold Brubaker


Private GM still will release data

When General Motors Corp. emerges from bankruptcy protection, it will be a new, privately held company. Without publicly traded shares, the automaker will no longer have to file regulatory documents that disclose quarterly earnings, major business transactions, or executive compensation. Yet it will be more publicly owned than ever, with taxpayers holding a 60 percent stake. GM executives say the company will continue to release regular financial statements after it goes private, even though technically it will no longer have an obligation to do so. - AP

Mortgage rates above 5 percent

Rates on 30-year home loans surged above 5 percent for the first time in nearly three months this week as investors pushed up rates on long-term government debt, which is closely tied to mortgage rates. Mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac said average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 5.29 percent this week, from an average of 4.91 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.81 percent from 4.69 percent. - AP

United goes jet shopping

United Airlines confirmed it would seek bids from airplane-makers Boeing Co. and rival Airbus S.A.S. for a major jet order that could be placed as soon as this fall. The nation's third-largest airline said it would look for proposals to replace its wide-body fleet over several years, as well as its Boeing 757s. Unlike other carriers that have at least kept their toes in the new-jet pool, United has held back on ordering new airplanes. It has been shrinking to try to match the flying it does with remaining demand, and it's working on eliminating its Boeing 737 fleet altogether. - AP

Intel to buy software-maker

Intel Corp. said it would buy software-maker Wind River Systems Inc. for $884 million in an all-cash deal that would help the world's largest maker of computer chips expand beyond the PC market. Intel said the purchase would benefit its processor and software offerings for embedded systems and mobile devices, which run the gamut from smartphones to networking equipment. - AP

Bernanke: More research needed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told a Fed conference the global financial crisis highlights the need for economists to deepen their understanding of how events on Wall Street can affect the broader economy. Bernanke did not talk about current economic conditions, or offer clues as to whether the central bank would announce any additional steps to shore up the economy at its meeting later this month. The existing body of research has been invaluable in helping the Fed chart a course to battle the worst crisis since the 1930s. But the debacle also has highlighted "how much additional research is needed on this topic," Bernanke said. - AP