Ariad Pharmaceuticals has cancelled a planned debt issue of $5 million of 10 percent secured debentures as a result of its recent deal to sell its interest in the Hoechst-Ariad Genomics Center LLC. Ariad signed a letter of intent Tuesday to sell its 50 percent interest in the center to its partner in the joint venture, Hoechst Marion Roussel (HMR), of Frankfurt, Germany, for $40 million. HMR advanced Ariad $5 million of that purchase price. The sale, which also includes the return of 3 million shares of Ariad stock and $2 million in forgiven loans, is expected to close by the end of the year. The money will provide Ariad with more than two and a half years of cash without any other financings, Ariad Chairman and CEO Harvey Berger told BioWorld Today. Ariads stock (NASDAQ:ARIA) rose as much as 145 percent on Tuesday, following reports of the sale. It closed at $1.062, up 50 cents. The stock closed Thursday at $1.156, down 6.25 cents.
Avanir Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, received a net judgment of $2.3 million after a San Diego Superior Court jury agreed that the company had been damaged by its former president and chief executive officer, David Katz. The court awarded the company $9 million in compensatory damages. The jury also found that Katz had been damaged by the companys public statements regarding his termination, and awarded him $6.7 million. Five additional claims between the two parties will be resolved by the court at a later date.
Boston Biomedica Inc., of West Bridgewater, Mass., is transferring its drug and vaccine development programs to a new subsidiary, Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. The subsidiary was formed to attract the larger amounts of capital required to push programs through clinical development, the company said. Boston Biomedica intends to establish Panacos as an independent company next year.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., will collaborate with Phylos Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., for the rapid identification of peptide-like agents that bind with high affinity to protein targets. Phylos will receive research funding and, if applicable, milestone payments.
CV Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., has shown that increasing levels of a gene known as ABC1 enhance the removal of cholesterol from cultured cells. The company said the research is the first biological evidence suggesting that increasing the levels of ABC1 might help in removing cholesterol from the body.
Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, on behalf of Spiros Development Corp. II Inc., also of San Diego, started a series of pivotal clinical trials for the Beclomethasone Spiros inhaler. Spiros is a new pulmonary drug delivery system designed to improve delivery of medication to the lung. Beclomethasone, currently marketed as Vanceril, is prescribed as maintenance therapy for the treatment of asthma.