AEterna Laboratories Inc., of Quebec City, Quebec, said authorities in the U.S. and Canada approved the conduct of the pivotal trial of AE-941/Neovastat for treating multiple myeloma. The trial will evaluate the anti-angiogenic's efficacy in about 120 patients with progressive multiple myeloma. Final results are expected in mid-2002.
Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., entered a worldwide licensing agreement with Procter & Gamble Co., of Cincinnati, to broaden the range of the Ettan MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry analysis system. The inclusion of Procter & Gamble's Peptide Derivatization Technology to APBiotech's Ettan MALDI-ToF Post-Source Decay analysis system will allow non-mass spectrometry researchers to identify otherwise difficult-to-identify proteins and peptides.
Applied Biosystems Group, of Foster City Calif., and Millipore Corp., of Bedford, Mass., entered a joint development agreement to develop and market next-generation sample preparation consumables for high-throughput proteomics. The collaboration will combine AB's proteomics expertise with Millipore's strengths in consumable sample preparation technologies aimed at removing and purifying proteins from tissue, serum or other sources.
Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, entered an exclusive U.S. license agreement for Sumitomo's DACH platinum compounds. Sumitomo will receive a $500,000 up-front payment; milestones for regulatory filings, approval and sales of the lead compound Aroplatin, a liposomal formulation of a novel platinum compound currently under investigation in two Phase II trials; and royalties on the commercial sales of Aroplatin.
ArQule Inc., of Woburn, Mass., and Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, entered a collaboration to combine Acadia's functional genomics platform with ArQule's Parallel Track Drug Discovery Program to discovery novel small-molecule drug candidates directed at individual G protein-coupled receptor targets. The companies will share resultant intellectual property and revenues from commercialized joint discovery programs and contribute equally to at least one joint discovery program.
Axonyx Inc., of New York, initiated a Phase II proof-of-concept trial of Phenserine, its lead candidate for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial is designed to determine the efficacy and safety of the compound in patients with clinical signs of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Study results are expected by the end of the second quarter of 2001.
Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., reported interactions between the extracellular matrix and integrins, cell surface receptors responsible for interaction of cells within the extracellular matrix, can regulate gene expression. The discovery, Biogen said, has implications for finding approaches to treating diseases characterized by inappropriate inflammatory and immune responses such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and multiple sclerosis. The discovery is published in the Dec. 18, 2000, issue of Immunity.
Caliper Technologies Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., and SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, formed a collaboration to develop new applications in synthetic chemistry using Caliper's LabChip microfluidic technology. The goal of the collaboration is to create novel tools and methods for performing chemical synthesis in a microfluidic chip.
Diversa Corp., of San Diego, and The Dow Chemical Co., of Midland, Mich., named their joint venture Innovase LLC. The joint venture is focused on discovering and developing enzymes with improved characteristics for industrial and consumer applications.
Hemosol Inc., of Toronto, entered a $12.5 million subordinated credit financing with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. to fund the remaining balance of the construction and land costs for its new $65 million manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ontario. Hemosol financed $35 million of the expansion costs through a senior credit facility with the National Bank of Canada and The Bank of Nova Scotia.
Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., said efficacy studies of its peptidomimetic caspase-inhibiting neuroprotectors showed "promising" results. Idun presented the results at the 39th Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
InforMax Inc., of Rockville, Md., named James Bernstein president and CEO. Bernstein is a former InforMax director, chief operating officer and executive vice president of strategic development.
Interleukin Genetics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., completed a $2 million private placement of 542,373 shares at $3.6875 each and 135,593 warrants at $4.83 each. Interleukin focuses on personalized medicine, and will use the proceeds to accelerate commercialization of genetic tests for restenosis of coronary arteries after stent placement and retinopathy and/or nephropathy among diabetics.
Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, said it renewed its nonexclusive sublicense to Roche Bioscience, of Palo Alto, Calif., and its affiliates for aspects of Lexicon's positive-negative selection and isogenic DNA technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Merlin Biosciences Ltd., of London, said it invested #3.4 million (US$5 million) in PanTherix Ltd., of Scotland, an antibacterial drug development company. The investment is part of a #10.25 million financing for PanTherix led by MB Venture Capital and Scottish Equity Partners.
Molecular Staging Inc., of New Haven, Conn., completed a Series D financing for proceeds of $41.25 million. The company develops tools and technologies for the detection of proteins and nucleic acids for proteomics, genomics, pharmacogenomics and diagnostics applications. The company also formed a collaboration with Motorola Inc., of Northbrook, Ill., under which Molecular Staging and Motorola's Life Sciences unit will develop bioarrays for Motorola's Life Sciences business. Motorola will couple its proprietary CodeLink Bioarray technology with Molecular Staging's Rolling Circle Amplification Technology. Motorola will pay a licensing fee and make a series of equity investments in Molecular Staging with an option to increase its equity stake in the future. Additional terms were not disclosed.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated a clinical trial with VX-148, a small-molecule inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitor. The Phase I dose-ranging trial will evaluate the compound's safety and pharmacokinetics.
Oncosis Inc., of San Diego, received $2.6 million in private financing from Iceland Genomic Ventures and other investors. Earlier this month the company received a four-year, $6.7 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The funding will be used to maintain ongoing operations and support program expansion, in addition to development of the company's Photosis technology platform for cell processing.
Oxford GlycoSciences plc, of Oxford, UK, entered a research agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York. OGS will apply its industrial-scale proteomics technology to the discovery of new biomarkers and drug development targets in Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis. The collaboration is the continuation of a joint research collaboration entered in 1998. Pfizer will provide further research funding to OGS and pay milestone payments. OGS granted Pfizer a nonexclusive license to use its CSF Proteome and Serum Proteome databases, and Pfizer will make an additional, undisclosed equity investment in OGS.
PTC Therapeutics Inc., of South Plainfield, N.J., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance its RNA-based approach to developing novel HIV drugs that target the virus' replication mechanism. The approach, programmed ribosomal frameshifting, interferes with viral protein production.
SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., said UBS AG, of Zurich, Switzerland, purchased a $4 million senior unsecured convertible note. The note is convertible into 407,610 shares of SciClone at a conversion price of $9.8133 each, and bears an interest rate of 6 percent per year. The notes will mature in December 2005, and are not convertible prior to December 2001. SciClone also received $900,000 from UBS for the right to purchase an additional $5.9 million in convertible notes. If issued, those notes will bear no interest and will be convertible into the same number of shares at a conversion price of $14.5066 per share.
Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, said it initiated the first phase of a program with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York. The program is aimed at designing a new integrated research informatics system. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.