Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, said it exclusively engaged Hunter Wise Financial Group LLC, of Newport Beach, Calif., to advise it on shareholder value creation options. Hunter Wise will work with Amarillo to assess strategic business alternatives including corporate development, corporate finance and capital placement transactions.
AmCell Corp., of Burlingame, Calif., said it filed a motion for summary judgement in the suit brought against it and Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, of Germany, by Nexell Therapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., alleging patent infringement, deceptive trade practices and breach of contract. AmCell counterclaimed that Nexell brought suit for improper business purpose and committed unfair acts of competition.
Collateral Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, said a preclinical study of its myocardial adrenergic signaling technology in the treatment of congestive heart failure was published in the current issue of Circulation, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association. The study supports the use of an adenylate cyclase gene, AC-6, to boost production of an enzyme in the myocardial adrenergic signaling pathway to improve heart function, the company said.
Dendreon Corp., of Seattle, expanded its cell processing capabilities, opening a new center in conjunction with Progenitor Cell Therapy LLC, of Hackensack, N.J. The company will use the new facility to prepare Provenge, its therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer, and Mylovenge, its therapeutic vaccine for multiple melanoma.
Discovery Laboratories Inc., of Doylestown, Pa., established a satellite office in the UK to manage and oversee its European clinical research programs. The new office is located in Windsor, outside London, and near the offices of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency.
Enzon Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., said results from its ongoing Phase I trial of Prothecan (PEG-camptothecin) indicate that the drug is well tolerated at doses up to 7,000 mg/m2, that biologically relevant plasma concentrations of free camptothecin were sustained for up to 168 hours after a single dose of the drug, and that the drug exhibits antitumor activity.
Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., said at the Society for Neuroscience meeting that results from studies of its peptidomimetic caspase inhibitors indicate the class of compounds decreases neuronal damage following brain injury. Idun's caspase inhibitors, data showed, guarded brain cells from apoptosis in vitro, and reduced tissue damage in mice in vivo after a stroke by 38 percent. A second study showed low micromolar concentrations of the caspase inhibitor IDN-5370 prevented apoptosis and promoted survival of cortical and sympathetic neurons exposed to apoptotic stimuli.
Incara Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., presented data at the Society for Neuroscience meeting showing its lead catalytic antioxidant molecule, AEOL 10113, significantly reduced markers of oxygen-radical damage to the brain when administered after the obstruction of blood flow in a stroke model in rats. The compound showed in a separate study that when administered intravenously it significantly reduced cortical and subcortical infarct volume and improved neurological recovery in a stroke model in mice. The company's catalytic antioxidant molecules inactivate reactive oxygen species such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and peroxynitrite similarly to natural enzymes. Incara plans to initiate clinical trials in one of its antioxidant molecules for treatment of stroke in 2001.
Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., and Oxford GlycoSciences plc, of Oxford, UK, said they will continue their alliance under revised terms. The companies will combine their technologies and expertise to create content for Incyte's LifeExpress database, the first database of its kind, Incyte said, to integrate gene and protein expression data. The new agreement calls for a move from exclusive profit sharing to a non-exclusive contract payment-based arrangement.
Micrologix Biotech Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, initiated a Phase II trial of MBI 594AN, a topical application of a bactolysin (cationic peptide) compound for treatment of acne. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial is designed to evaluate efficacy in 75 patients over age 13 treated daily over a six-week period. Tolerability and systemic absorption will be assessed in 18 patients in a five-day, open-label study.
Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, discovered six potential drug targets involved in the regulation of lipid metabolism in the disease pathway of the CHD1 gene. Myriad identified the targets with its proprietary proteomics technology, ProNet, in conjunction with Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, which licensed rights to CHD1 from Myriad for further development.
Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said the FDA approved an investigational new drug application to initiate a Phase I/II study for NBI-6024, its altered peptide ligand for treatment of Type I diabetes. The study is designed to evaluate safety and efficacy of a dosing regimen to induce and maintain the desired protective immune response.
Pharmos Corp., of Iselin, N.J., said at the Society for Neuroscience meeting that data from animal studies of dexanabinol demonstrated significant improvements in long-term outcome, brain infarct size and mortality in a stroke model in rats. Further study indicated two compounds from the company's library of novel second-generation cannabinoids, PRS 211,092 and PRS 211,095, demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties in rats with brain ischemia induced by impairment of brain blood supply. Dexanabinol exhibited 13 percent mortality in single doses and no mortality in multiple doses and reduced the mean infarct size in the brain by 68 percent compared to control groups.
Pozen Inc., of Chapel Hill, N.C., said the underwriters of its initial public offering exercised their overallotment option, purchasing an additional 750,000 shares at $15 per share. The overallotment option exercise increases the company's offering total to 5.75 million shares for total proceeds to the company of $86.3 million.
Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego, said Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, designated a lead compound developed by SBI for in-house development in association with the companies' multiyear collaboration. SBI will receive milestone and royalty payments upon successful completion of Yamanouchi's development efforts.
SuperGen Inc., of San Ramon, Calif., said its anticancer compound pentostatin, also known as Nipent, produced durable complete responses in patients with hairy-cell leukemia in a long-term follow-up study. Data from the study were published in the November issue of Blood. The 241-patient study showed that 83 percent of patients treated with the compound are still alive 11 to 14 years after their first treatment. The five-year survival rate for 201 evaluable patients was 90 percent, and the 10-year survival rate was 81 percent.
Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, entered a research collaboration with Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, to design and develop new software products for pharmaceutical research. Financial terms were undisclosed. Tripos will develop new tools to describe and compare the 3-D arrangement of key molecular elements of potential drugs and the receptor sites with which they interact.