Amrad Corp. Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, executed an agreement to sell its biotechnology reagent division, Amrad Biotech, to Chemicon International Inc., of Temecula, Calif., for A$14 million (US$8.91 million). The deal includes all of the assets of the Amrad biotech business.
Argonex Inc., of Charlottesville, Va., entered into a research collaboration with Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines, a division of American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J., to identify antigens associated with Chlamydia pneumoniae for application in the development of potential vaccines. Argonex will receive research funding and potential royalties from the collaboration. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, Mass., completed enrollment in a double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase I trial of its CETP vaccine (CETi-1) in 48 adult volunteers. CETi-1 is being developed for the management of patients with low levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. HDL at proper levels has the potential to reduce atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Avigen Inc., of Alameda, Calif., said it is contemplating the filing of a registration statement with the SEC for a public offering of its common stock. The timing and size of the offering will depend on market conditions and other factors, the company said.
Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., will change its stock symbol effective Feb. 7. On that date the new symbol on the American Stock Exchange will be CVM and the new symbol for its warrants will be CVM.WS.A.
Celsion Corp., of Columbia, Md., closed a private placement in which it received net proceeds of $4.2 million from the sale of Series A 10 percent convertible preferred stock. A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund ongoing trials for Celsions breast cancer treatment system and its treatment system for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Joseph Charles & Associates Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla., acted as placement agent for the offering.
Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., said results from a 157-patient, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in patients suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea demonstrated Provigil (modafinil) tablets increased daytime wakefulness in patients being treated with continuous positive airway pressure. Cephalon initiated an additional trial based on these results with Provigil in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
Cythera Inc., of San Diego, said it raised $2 million in an initial round of venture financing from Sanderling Ventures, of Menlo Park, Calif.; Alta Partners, of San Francisco; and Graystone Venture Direct Equity, of Northfield, Ill. The company also appointed Michael Ross as chief executive officer and Lutz Giebel as chief operating officer.
Genelabs Technologies Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will provide $5 million to Genelabs for the concluding third year of its research grant. The company received $4.8 million in 1999, when it identified several compounds that display antibacterial and antiviral activity.
Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., and GelTex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Waltham, Mass., said the European Commission granted marketing approval in Europe for Renagel capsules for the control of hyperphosphatemia in adult patients on hemodialysis. Renagel received marketing approval in the U.S. in October 1998 and is being commercialized through a joint venture between Genzyme and GelTex.
Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego, began a Phase I trial with the Primatized anti-CD23 monoclonal antibody, Idec-152, in patients with allergic asthma. The study will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a single dose of the agent.
InSite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., signed a license agreement with Toshihiko Matsuo of Okayama University in Japan for rights to the oculomedin (OCLM) gene. The agreement includes patent rights for diagnostic and therapeutic applications and developments related to the OCLM gene, which may be related to primary open angle glaucoma and other ophthalmic diseases.
Invitrogen Corp., of San Diego, completed the acqui si tion of Research Genetics Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., issuing 3.2 million shares of its common stock for all of the capital stock of Research Genetics. Based on Wednesdays closing stock price (NASDAQ:IVGN) of $69, the deal was worth $220.8 million. It was valued at $139 million when announced in December. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 9, 1999, p. 1.)
Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, said it entered into a multi-year functional genomics research agreement with NV Organon, of Oss, the Netherlands, under Lexicons OmniBank Internet Universal program. Organon will have access to mice from Lexicons OmniBank library of 60,000 knockout mouse clones that may help in determining the function of genes that represent potential drug targets.
Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Plymouth Meet ing, Pa., began Phase II studies designed to evaluate efficacy and safety of squalamine, an angiogenesis inhibitor, to treat patients with advanced ovarian cancer. One study will evaluate squalamine in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel to treat ovarian cancer. The other study will evaluate squalamine in combination with carboplatin in recurrent ovarian cancer.