• Adherex Technologies Inc., of Ottawa, Ontario, closed a private placement of convertible notes totaling about C$3 million (US$2.2 million). The notes are one-year senior secured convertible notes that initially accrue 8 percent interest in the first year and may be extended for a second year at the company's option with interest at 12 percent. On the close of a subsequent round of financing of a minimum of C$5 million, the notes would automatically convert into the security or securities sold in that round on the same terms as that subsequent round, subject to regulatory approval. The notes also provide for conversion into common shares at the option of the holder in certain circumstances.

• Agilent Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., and Dharmacon Inc., of Lafayette, Colo., entered a collaboration to use Agilent's microarray and Dharmacon's RNA interference technologies to measure the broader cellular effects of RNAi, or gene silencing. Researchers at Dharmacon plan to silence genes in a variety of cell systems and then apply Agilent's microarray solutions to measure the systemic effects. Agilent researchers will then analyze the data using the Rosetta Resolver gene expression data analysis system from Rosetta Biosoftware to assess effects on gene expression. Agilent and Dharmacon expect to apply the results in drug discovery research.

• Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., of San Diego, said it agreed to optimize two protein therapeutic candidates for Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis. The goal is to apply Applied Molecular's AMEsystem to create optimized versions of both a growth factor and an antibody candidate for clinical development. For its work, Applied Molecular will receive an up-front fee and has the potential to receive milestone payments and royalties on products that result.

• Aptanomics SA, of Lyon, France, named Michael Courtney chairman and CEO. Prior to joining Aptanomics, a drug discovery company using peptide aptamer technology, 48-year-old Courtney worked as chief operating officer at Noxxon Pharma AG, of Berlin.

• Argonaut Technologies Inc., of Foster City, Calif., released its Argonaut Bioanalytical Toolbox, a set of consumables and accessories designed for fast, rational pharmaceutical sample preparation method development in a 96-well format. It is compatible with automated or manual liquid handling devices.

• Bentley Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Exeter, N.H., entered an agreement to license a recently issued patent covering antifungal nail lacquers containing a pentadecalactone drug-absorption excipient from MacroChem Corp., of Lexington, Mass. The two companies separately agreed to collaborate on the evaluation of certain potential new applications for each other's absorption excipients. MacroChem received $1 million upon signing and will receive undisclosed payments on future sales and licensing income for any product described by the intellectual property. More specific financial details were not disclosed. MacroChem's stock (NASDAQ:MCHM) gained 24 cents Tuesday, or 22.9 percent, to close at $1.29.

• BioSeek Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., entered a collaboration to apply its BioMAP human cell-based model systems technology to analyze and characterize the activity of thiazolopyrimidine compounds with Dynavax Technologies Corp., of Berkeley, Calif. BioSeek will receive milestone payments based on achievement of technical and commercial milestones and royalties on sales of resulting products, which Dynavax is developing for chronic inflammatory diseases. More specific financial terms were not disclosed.

• BioTime Inc., of Berkeley, Calif., said Paul Segall, its co-founder, chairman and CEO, passed away suddenly from an aortic aneurysm at age 60. The company said Segall, who developed plasma volume expander solutions, blood replacement products and technologies, emergency trauma treatment and preservation methods for transplant organs, was instrumental in developing BioTime's lead product Hextend, a blood plasma volume expander used in surgery and trauma care in the U.S.

• BioTransplant Inc., of Medford, Mass., said a study published in the July 1, 2003, edition of Blood showed that treatment with MEDI-507 led to long-term survival in a well-known murine model of adult T-cell leukemia. A team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., conducted the study of the humanized monoclonal antibody, which is licensed for use as a stand-alone therapeutic agent to MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md. BioTransplant's stock (OTC BB:BTRNQ) gained 12 cents Tuesday, or 85.7percent, to close at 26 cents.

• Cellular Genomics Inc., of Branford, Conn., reported the successful development of a drug discovery model for protein kinases, a major class of drug targets, the company said. CGI's approach is based on the discovery of Analog Sensitive Kinase Alleles. ASKAs are genetically modified kinases that retain all the functions of normal kinases, but can be inhibited with specificity by small-molecule analogue inhibitors.

• Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., said it received valid acceptance from 81.3 percent of the existing issued share capital of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, of Oxford, UK. The aggregate number of accepted shares equaled about 75 million. The offer, estimated to be worth US$878 million at its announcement, was extended and will remain open for acceptance until July 7. (See BioWorld Today, May 20, 2003.)

• Chrysalis BioTechnology Inc., of Galveston, Texas, was awarded a $95,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to fund the study of a topical peptide drug candidate intended to enhance the body's ability to fight microbial infections. Chrysalis researchers will test the ability of a synthetically manufactured peptide termed human Neutrophil Targeting Peptide (hNTP15) to reduce infection rates in preclinical models.

• Circle Group Holdings Inc., of Mundelein, Ill., said it acquired an exclusive license to an anthrax/bacterial spore collection and elimination device technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Brookhaven's patent-pending ThraxVac technology is a flexible device that simultaneously captures and kills anthrax and other bacterial spore biohazards. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Coley Pharmaceutical Group, of Wellesley, Mass., said it received an additional $6 million to support the clinical development of its CpG immunostimulatory TLR9 agonists to enhance anthrax vaccines by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA has awarded $12 million to the company in the last 18 months. The research stems from an initial $4 million grant awarded in 1999 to Arthur Krieg, Coley's senior vice president and chief scientific officer, who at the time was a professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa.

• CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newtown, Pa., reported Phase II results showing that the combination of its Periostat (doxycycline hyclate tablets) 20 mg with MetroLotion (metronidazole) topical lotion resulted in significantly fewer inflammatory lesions among rosacea patients than those on placebo (p<0.05). At week 12 of the double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, there was a 59 percent reduction in lesion count in the group receiving MetroLotion and Periostat, compared with a 34 percent reduction in the group receiving MetroLotion and placebo.

• Corixa Corp., of Seattle, entered a seven-year manufacturing agreement with MDS Nordion, of Ottawa, Ontario, which will continue to radiolabel the antibody in Bexxar (tositumomab and iodine I-131 tositumomab). The supply agreement replaces existing development, supply and facilities agreements entered in 1995 and 1998, respectively. Bexxar, an investigational radioimmunotherapy being co-developed by Corixa and GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London, remains in the final stages of FDA review with a decision expected in early August. (See BioWorld Today, May 6, 2003.)

• Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., began a multidose Phase I trial of its antibiotic, CAB-175, following the filing of an investigational new drug application with the FDA. CAB-175 is a parenteral cephalosporin antibiotic that has demonstrated in vitro activity against most clinically relevant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including clinically important resistant species, the company said.

• Cyntellect Inc., of San Diego, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oncosis LLC, said Oncosis was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., which will use Cyntellect's Laser-Enabled Analysis and Processing (LEAP) platform. The $100,000 grant will be used by Oncosis to initiate an approach using LEAP to perform high-throughput functional proteomics studies using chromophore-assisted laser activation on live cells.

• EraGen Biosciences Inc., of Madison, Wis., reported that two technologies, Gene-Code and the Master Catalog, have proved to work effectively in the study of the SARS virus.

• Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., is ending its licensing agreement effective Aug. 6 with Bukwang Pharm. Ind. Co. Ltd., of Seoul, South Korea, related to clevudine, an investigational pyrimidine nucleoside analogue in Phase I/II development for chronic hepatitis B. The collaboration began in February 1998, when Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., entered into a licensing agreement with Bukwang for worldwide rights to clevudine, formerly called L-FMAU, in all markets except Korea. Gilead, which acquired Triangle late last year, said it owes no further payments to Bukwang. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 5, 2002.)

• GlycoGenesys Inc., of Boston, received notification from Nasdaq that the company regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement for the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. GlycoGenesys develops and licenses products based on glycobiology.

• GTx Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., reported Phase II results at the International Symposium on Hormonal Carcinogenesis in Valencia, Spain, showing that its lead product, Acapodene (toremifene), was well tolerated and significantly reduced high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia, a premalignant lesion with the potential to progress to prostate cancer. The open-label, 21-patient study found that 72 percent of men treated with Acapodene, a nonsteroidal selective estrogen receptor modulator, had no prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and no cancer on subsequent biopsies compared to 17.9 percent of historical controls.

• Incyte Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., said Richard De Schutter was elected chairman of the board. De Schutter has served on the Incyte board since January 2002. Prior to that he had positions with DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., Pharmacia Corp. and Monsanto Co.

• Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, entered an agreement to co-develop its p53-based cancer agent, Advexin, with the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, a unit of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. Introgen said it supplied Advexin to the institute for distribution to clinical investigators, who will study an oral rinse formulation of the compound in a Phase I/II trial for oral premalignancies. Patients with premalignant lesions will be treated for up to six months. Introgen's stock (NASDAQ:INGN) gained 57 cents Tuesday, or 10.9 percent, to close at $5.80.

• Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., entered an agreement to identify antisense drug candidates targeting the coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome with the Industrial and Technology Research Institute of Taiwan in Hsinchu. Isis will conduct the antisense drug discovery research and the institute will provide $2 million in initial funding to begin the collaboration aimed at identifying one or more SARS antisense drugs and developing aerosol and intravenous formulations in preparation for preclinical toxicology studies. Isis' stock (NASDAQ:ISIS) gained 73 cents Tuesday, or 14.5 percent, to close at $5.75.

• KaloBios Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., raised $4 million after closing a seed investment round with Sofinnova Ventures, of San Francisco, and Alloy Ventures, of Palo Alto, Calif. Jim Healy, a managing director at Sofinnova, and Doug Kelly, a general partner at Alloy, joined the board at KaloBios, a therapeutic antibody company.

• Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, reported data at the Strategic Research Institute's Psychiatric Drug Discovery and Development conference in Princeton, N.J., showing that the inhibition of the LG617 protein in knockout mice resulted in a statistically significant increase in performance of a test of learning and memory, even as they age. Lexicon, which said the LG617 gene encodes a membrane protein that is expressed only in the brain, is working to develop small-molecule drugs against the human target that could have the potential to increase learning, attention and/or memory in patients with various disorders associated with cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease.

• Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, reported results of a retrospective analysis of two clinical trials of its lead candidate, Ceplene (histamine dihydrochloride), for patients with metastatic ocular melanoma at the International Melanoma Research Congress meeting in Philadelphia. Patients treated with the combination of Ceplene and interleukin-2 achieved a median survival of 7.6 months compared to 3.9 months for patients treated with IL-2 alone (p=0.0051). Maxim said it would file for European approval in November, with a third Phase III trial ongoing to support U.S. approval. (See BioWorld Today, June 13, 2003.)

• NaPro BioTherapeutics Inc., of Boulder, Colo., entered research collaborations to develop its gene-editing therapy for sickle cell disease patients with the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and the Children's Hospital in that city. NaPro's technology is designed to make the single base pair correction in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells ex vivo and then reinfuse the patients with their own corrected cells. NaPro's stock (NASDAQ:NPRO) gained 34 cents Tuesday, or 20.5 percent, to close at $2.

• Nashai Biotech LLC, of Nashville, Tenn., said results of a clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Archives of Internal Medicine documents the effectiveness of a theaflavin-enriched tea extract to lower LDL cholesterol by 16.4 percent with no adverse effects. The all-natural, caffeine-free product developed by Nashai Biotech is now available to consumers as a 375-milligram daily capsule and is marketed under the name Teaflavin.

The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., awarded a five-year grant worth $4.3 million to Tulane University in New Orleans, to establish a facility for the preparation, quality testing and distribution of adult stem cells. More specifically, the university will prepare and distribute a continuous supply of marrow stromal cells derived from bone marrow of human adults and rats, stem cells to be made available for nonclinical use to explore methods to repair tissue damage and gene therapy.

• Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, reported Phase I results showing that NBI-42902, its orally active, small-molecule, gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist, was safe and well tolerated in multiple dosing of healthy, premenopausal women. Preliminary pharmacokinetic data from the randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel group study showed that NBI-42902 was absorbed rapidly after oral administration.

• Nuvelo Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., began dosing in a Phase II trial of its lead candidate, alfimeprase, for acute peripheral arterial occlusion. The multicenter, open-label, dose-escalation study is designed to evaluate safety and efficacy of three different doses of the compound in about 100 patients in the U.S., Europe and South Africa. Nuvelo, which began an additional Phase II trial of alfimeprase in catheter occlusion earlier this month, said it expects to complete at least one of the studies by the end of this year.

• Organogenesis Inc., of Canton, Mass., said it filed an amended plan of reorganization and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plan incorporates a funding proposal from a group of unsecured creditors under the terms and conditions set forth in a plan funding agreement approved by the bankruptcy court on June 18. The plan filing will keep the company's fast-track voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization on schedule and put in motion a timeline for emerging from Chapter 11 protection in August.

• Point Technologies Inc., of Boulder, Colo., and Incyte Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., reported an agreement under which Point Tech sublicensed U.S. Patent No. 5,807,522, issued Sept. 15, 1998, and U.S. Patent No. 6,110,426, which are directed to a method of making a nucleic acid array by tapping the tip of a dispensing device against a solid support. The agreement grants a worldwide, nonexclusive, nontransferable license under the patents, to make and sell split microarray spotting pins.

• Senetek plc, of Napa, Calif., signed a cooperative research agreement with the Institute of Experimental Botany in Prague, Czech Republic. The agreement gives Senetek exclusive access to all chemical and botanical-based products and related scientific data developed by the institute in a range of dermatological applications. Senetek has the option to enter exclusive licenses for successful compounds for medical and cosmetic skin-care application worldwide. The principal fields of scientific work in the institute consist of plant genetics, physiology and biotechnology.

• SIGA Technologies Inc., of New York, reported the receipt of $1.5 million from a private placement of 1.25 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 625,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $2 per share to a group of private investors. The offering yielded net proceeds of about $1.4 million to SIGA.

• SR Pharma plc, of London, completed enrollment in its Phase II European trial of SRP299, an immunomodulator developed for the treatment of allergic diseases. In the trial, 145 patients with moderate asthma were enrolled. Results are expected during the first half of 2004.

• Synthetic Blood International Inc., of Costa Mesa, Calif., secured $2 million in new financing from a private investment source in Europe that previously invested in the company. The company plans to use the money to provide operating capital for at least one year and to finance the transfer of Oxycyte contract manufacturing to a San Diego firm. The funds also will be used to complete the Phase I clinical safety study and at least two Phase II trials in selected patient populations.

• Vela Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lawrenceville, N.J., said the FDA cleared its investigational new drug application for R-tofisopam, its potential treatment for irritable bowel syndrome for both men and women. The privately held company said it would begin patient recruitment immediately for a U.S.-based, multicenter, 12-week, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase II trial designed to assess the compound's safety and efficacy in treating irritable bowel syndrome that is either diarrhea-predominant or characterized by alternating diarrhea and constipation.

• Xtrana Inc., of Broomfield, Colo., entered a settlement agreement with Trinity Biotech plc, of Dublin, Ireland, with regard to a lawsuit filed by Trinity in December and a countersuit filed against Trinity by Xtrana in January. Both parties dismissed all claims under the existing litigation with prejudice. Also, both parties are released from any further claims or causes of action in connection with the sale of hemostasis assets to Trinity in December 2001.

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