* BioChem Pharma Inc., of Quebec, reported Phase I clinical trial results on a novel cell culture-based influenza vaccine demonstrate it is safe and significantly boosts immunity in healthy volunteers. The Phase I trial enrolled 112 adults, half of whom were tested with the new cell culture-based vaccine and half with Fluviral S/F, the egg-based split influenza vaccine. The new vaccine was shown to have an effect on immunity equivalent to Fluviral S/F for both the A-Texas and B-Harbin viral strains of influenza.
* Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., will repurchase up to 5 million of its shares to be held by a flexible employee benefits trust to finance certain existing U.S. employee benefits, including savings plan, stock plan and pension programs. The trust will allocate or sell the shares over time for these programs.
* Vascular Therapeutics Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., and its affiliate, Vascular Therapeutics Canada Inc., of Ontario, report the completion of Phase I clinical studies of Vasoflux, a proprietary anticoagulant. The Phase I study enrolled 40 subjects who were followed for four weeks. No significant adverse events were observed, even at the highest doses of Vasoflux and heparin.