Cell Based Delivery Inc., of Providence, R.I., received a $2 million three-year grant from the Advanced Technology Program of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. The award will be used to develop the company's Implantable Protein Factory technology (ImPACT) for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. ImPACT products are generated from human muscle-derived stem cells or fibroblasts using the company's proprietary technology. They are made with genetically modified cells organized into tissues that can be implanted in or near heart tissue, below the skin or other sites using minimally invasive techniques.
Digene Corp., of Beltsville, Md., raised $19.5 million in a private placement of an aggregate of 1.5 million shares of its common stock. The placement was completed on Dec. 23 to institutional and other investors. The purchase price was $13 per share. Prudential Vector Healthcare Group, a unit of Prudential Securities, of New York, served a placement agent. The proceeds will be used to expand the company's sales and marketing efforts for its DNA and RNA testing systems, fund research and development and expand manufacturing capabilities.
Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., made a genetically engineered bispecific antibody fusion protein for use in a two-step drug delivery for cancer therapy. The fusion protein was made by linking portions of genes encoding two distinct antibodies, yielding a single protein molecule with two binding sites: one to the tumor and the other to a small molecule carrying a therapeutic agent. The company made its accomplishment known at the Antibody Engineering conference in San Diego.
LXR Biotechnology Inc., of Richmond, Calif., said it intends to suspend the registration of its stock with the SEC by the end of the year. The cost-saving suspension will take effect automatically upon the filing of the required forms and SEC review. LXR's shares are currently traded on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol LXRI. As a result of the suspension, LXR shares may be traded only on the "pink sheets." In addition, it agreed with US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, of Minneapolis, to suspend that firm's search for a purchaser of the company or its technology.
Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed a Phase II trial of alpha-galactosidase A (alpha-gal) for the treatment of Fabry disease. Twenty-six patients participated in the six-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Patients received either alpha-gal or placebo by intravenous infusion every two weeks. All patients who complete the Phase II study elected to receive alpha-gal as part of a maintenance study to provide longer-term safety and efficacy data, with a number of them treated for more than a year. The results will be presented in a scientific forum next year.