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June passenger count up,

but PDX flights are down

The woes of the struggling U.S. airline industry showed up again in June operations statistics at Portland International Airport.

Total PDX commercial flight operations Ñ a figure that includes cargo and charter flights as well as commercial airline flights Ñ fell by 4.4 percent for the calendar year to date, compared to 2002.

The total number of airline passengers who flew in and out of Portland in June, however, climbed by 2.3 percent compared to the June 2002 total.

For the year to date, the passenger total decreased by 0.3 percent compared to 2002.

Lufthansa German Airlines, which added nonstop international fights from PDX to Germany at the end of March, had carried 39,355 passengers by the end of June.

Portland's AVI BioPharma

will buy Texas company

Portland-based biopharmaceutical company AVI BioPharma announced Wednesday its intent to buy eXegenics Inc. of Dallas in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $11 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in September.

In exchange for shares of its own stock, AVI will acquire not only the nearly dormant drug research and development company and its research findings, but also the Texas company's $10 million in cash reserves.

'The areas that they're working on in bacterial diseases matches well with our antiviral program currently, for instance with SARS and West Nile virus, and also with our cancer program,' said Michael Hubbard, AVI's director of investor relations.

Ñ Nevill Eschen

and Jeanie Senior