• Arteriocyte Inc., of Cleveland, will receive $800,000 from the 2008 Defense Appropriations Bill, signed by the president earlier this month, for its Cellular Therapy for Battlefield Wounds project. That funding will support the development of Arteriocyte's approach for treating wounds by using a patient's own stem cells to improve blood flow in damaged tissues to accelerate healing.

• Bavarian Nordic, of Kvistgard, Denmark, said it will receive a $25 million milestone payment from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of a contract to manufacture and deliver 20 million doses of Imvamune smallpox vaccine. The payment will be recognized as revenue in the firm's financial statements for 2007. Bavarian Nordic previously received an advance payment of $50 million under the contract and expects to receive an additional $25 million milestone payment from the U.S. government before the end of the year. (See BioWorld Today, April 17, 2007.)

• Cangene Corp., of Toronto, said Health Canada approved the liquid formulation of its WinRho SDF (Rho[D] immune globulin [human]) for hemolytic disease in newborns and immune thrombocytopenic purpura. WinRho SDF, a hyperimmune antibody preparation specific for a certain type of red blood cell, also can be used to treat certain transfusion reactions.

• ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, said it received shareholder approval of its previously announced plan to de-merge its metabolic disease business, Autogen Research Ltd., and merge it with Queensland, Australia-based Adipogen Pharmaceuticals Pty. Ltd. The new combined company will operate as Verva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The move will allow ChemGenex to focus on its cancer portfolio, including the Phase II/III chronic myeloid leukemia drug omacetaxine mepesuccinate. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 30, 2007.)

• Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco, said it will receive a $5 million milestone payment from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, on the acceptance of an investigational new drug application or foreign equivalent for a compound discovered and developed under the firms' liver X receptor (LXR) collaboration. LXR is a nuclear hormone receptor implicated in a variety of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Exelixis and BMS established the collaboration in January 2006 for an initial period of two years. The collaboration later was extended through Jan. 12, 2009.

• Galapagos NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, said it is collaborating with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc., of Bethesda, Md., to discover new therapies for cystic fibrosis in a deal worth up to €5.5 million (US$8.1 million). The collaboration aims to identify small molecules derived from natural sources that improve the function of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, a defective protein found in cystic fibrosis patients.

• Graffinity Pharmaceuticals GmbH, of Heidelberg, Germany, entered a second collaboration with New York-based Pfizer Inc. focused on Graffinity's fragment-based drug discovery technology. Specific terms were not disclosed, though Graffinity will receive technology access fees and payments for the generation of small-molecule hits against a number of drug targets.

• ImmunoVaccine Technologies Inc., of Halifax, Nova Scotia, successfully scaled up the manufacturing process for its VacciMax vaccine platform, demonstrating that it can be produced on a commercial scale. VacciMax is a vaccine-enhancement platform comprised of a special emulsion of liposomes, antigens, adjuvants and oil.

• OPKO Health Inc., of Miami, completed its previously announced acquisition of ocular diagnostic imaging company Ophthalmic Technologies Inc., of Toronto. The move is expected to complement OPKO's therapeutic pipeline, which includes the Phase III siRNA drug bevasiranib for wet age-related macular degeneration. Shares of OPKO (AMEX:OPK) rose 26 cents, or 8 percent, to close at $3.48 Thursday.

• Pipex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., filed a new drug application with the FDA for Coprexa (tetrathiomolybdate) in Wilson's disease. Coprexa is an oral, small-molecule, anti-copper agent that also is in clinical trials for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and primary biliary cirrhosis.

• Prometheus Laboratories Inc., of San Diego, agreed to license exclusive North American development and commercialization rights to Colal-Pred from Alizyme Therapeutics Ltd., a subsidiary of Cambridge, U.K.-based Alizyme plc. Colal-Pred is an anti-inflammatory steroid, prednisolone metasulfobenzoate sodium, delivered in the colon for gastrointestinal diseases. The deal called for Prometheus to make up-front and milestone payments to Alizyme, plus development costs and royalties. Specific terms were not disclosed. Prometheus expects to file a new drug application in 2011.

• Speedel Holding Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, said it received from Novartis AG, also of Basel, the revenue report regarding SPP100, confirming that it earned CHF621,000 (US$555,274) for the third quarter, which was higher than the projected CHF571,000 the company previously announced with its financial results. The report also included details on the cost-of-goods savings, which Novartis has achieved for products sold during the third quarter using the chemical synthesis route developed by Speedel and licensed to Novartis in 2002. A small portion of the product sold by Novartis in the third quarter was reported to be eligible for the savings on cost of goods stipulated in the licensing agreement.

• Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Montreal, presented preclinical data indicating that ECO-4601 crosses the blood-brain barrier and targets glioblastoma tumors. The data, which were presented at the 3rd Modern Drug Discovery & Development Summit in San Francisco, also showed that the drug binds to the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR), which is overexpressed in several tumors. ECO-4601 is slated to enter Phase II cancer trials this year.

• Tripos Discovery Research Ltd., of Bude, UK, said it changed its name to Exelgen Ltd. The firm said that the new name is a hybrid that reflects the firm's real value proposition of excellence in the genesis of new and innovative drug discovery paradigms.

• Viropro Inc., of Montreal, said its subsidiary, Viropro International Inc., received a first undisclosed milestone payment as part of its contract with Intas Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Gujarat, India, related to the development and production of an undisclosed therapeutic protein.

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