• Axcan Pharma Inc., of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, said the Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., PROXY Governance Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co. formally recommended that their clients holding shares in Axcan vote for a proposal to be acquired by TPG Capital. Last year, Axcan entered into an agreement to be acquired by TPG in an all-cash deal worth $1.3 million. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 30, 2007.) A special meeting of Axcan shareholders will be held Jan. 25 in Montreal to vote on the deal.

• BT Pharma SA, of Toulouse, France, gained a new patent through its exclusive license with the Institut Pasteur, covering the adenylate cyclase vector technology. That patent claims a combination cancer treatment, which associates a chemotherapeutic agent with an immunotherapeutic agent, and is designed to result in an improved specific immune response against malignant tissues. BT previously licensed from the institute rights to a patent for an adenylate cyclase carrying tumor-derived antigenic peptides.

• Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., and San Francisco-based Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology will collaborate on finding HIV treatments based on the Vif protein. Vif promotes destruction of a potent host antiviral factor which is critical for the growth of the virus. Gilead will provide research support and will pay royalty and milestone fees. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Ipsen SA, of Paris, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies said they will sign a memorandum of understanding creating the Ipsen Life Sciences Program at the institute. The goal of the partnership is to advance knowledge of proliferative and degenerative diseases through fundamental and applied biology research. The program will, for up to five years, sponsor three categories of research programs through targeted, core and innovation grants. Ipsen will provide funding for targeted research programs at the institute, with a particular emphasis on novel therapeutic concepts for the treatment of pituitary adenomas. Core grants will support basic research on the role of chronic inflammation to malignant diseases such as cancer, loss of cognitive functions, movement disorders and metabolic syndromes. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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