• Access Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Dallas, and SpePharm Holding BV, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, have signed a definitive licensing agreement under which SpePharm will market Access's product MuGard in Europe. MuGard is Access' proprietary product for managing oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of many anticancer treatments. MuGard has received marketing allowance from the FDA under a 510(k) procedure. SpePharm will be responsible for marketing MuGard throughout the European Union plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, as well as for manufacturing and for obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for the product in the territory. SpePharm will pay Access an upfront fee and substantial royalties on net sales, but specific terms were not disclosed.

• Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, promoted Steve Worland to president and CEO, replacing Lawrence Fritz, who the company said plans to pursue other opportunities. Worland also was appointed to the Anadys board. He joined Anadys in March 2001 as chief scientific officer and most recently served as president, pharmaceuticals.

• Cellzome Inc., of Boston, said Nature Biotechnology has reported that scientists, using its new technology called Kinobeads, have assessed the molecular action of two approved chronic myeloid leukemia drugs and a drug candidate and discovered novel targets for all three. Cellzome's Kinobeads technology quantitatively measures the interaction of compounds or drugs with kinases in cells and tissues. Kinobeads allows compounds to be uniquely "finger-printed" for their interactions with natural kinases and related target proteins. The resulting information can demonstrate a compounds' mode of action and indicate which diseases it might be used against, and also point to potential side effects. Researchers assessed the molecular action of Gleevec (imatinib, Novartis AG) and Sprycel (dasatinib, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.,), and a compound currently undergoing clinical testing, SKI-606. The team discovered novel targets for all three drugs, including two new targets for Gleevec.

• Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., entered a drug repositioning and development agreement with Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc., a division of the Brussels, Belgium-based Solvay Group. Gene Logic will seek alternative development paths for multiple Solvay drug candidates that were discontinued or de-prioritized in clinical trials for reasons other than safety. Gene Logic is entitled to undisclosed milestone and royalty payments in the deal. Gene Logic also has an option to exclusively license any drug candidate for which it identifies a potential new therapeutic use that Solvay chooses not to develop.

• Hana Biosciences Inc., of South San Francisco, appointed Steven Deitcher president and CEO, effective immediately. He also was appointed to the board. Deitcher, who joined the company in May from Nuvelo Inc., was formerly its executive vice president of development and chief medical officer. Deitcher replaces Mark Ahn, who resigned last week to pursue an academic position at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

• ImmuneRegen BioSciences Inc., of Scottsdale, Ariz., said initial studies at TGen Drug Development Services have found that ImmuneRegen's Radilex protects mice from the near total destruction of circulating white blood cells following radiation exposure. The findings support past data and provide further insight into possible mechanisms underlying the activity of Radilex as well as suggest possible therapeutic areas in which Radilex could play a role as a potential treatment. In the recent studies, a sub-lethal dose of radiation induced a 90-95 percent decrease in circulating white blood cell levels. Administered shortly following radiation exposure, Radilex was able to increase circulating levels of monocytes, granulocytes and lymphocytes in all treated animals.

Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it would not exercise its option to IPL455,903, a PDE-4 inhibitor it discovered and patented. Under the limited license granted to Helicon Therapeutics Inc., of New York, in January 2003, Inflazyme had 90 days to exercise its option after receiving certain information from Helicon, which included the results of the first Phase IIa study. That trial in age-associated memory impairment reported unfavorable efficacy data. Inflazyme said there were some encouraging data, but said it has insufficient cash to exercise the option. Inflazyme now is eligible to receive certain royalties from Helicon, which has rights only in the field of learning and memory disorders. Inflazyme said it is seeking to sell or license its assets or seek a merger or acquisition with another company.

MaxCyte Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said Yokohama, Japan-based Medinet Co. Ltd. signed an exclusive license, developing and supply agreement to use MaxCyte's cell loading system to support clinical studies and commercialization of Medinet's cancer immunotherapy service in Japan. Under the terms, MaxCyte will provide the right to use its technology in the closed-system manufacturing of Medinet's immuno-cell therapy service in multiple cell processing centers based on optimized protocols developed under the companies' August 2006 collaboration. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MIT Holdings Inc., of Savannah, Ga., partnered with Mevlabs Inc., a research and development company, to research certain infectious diseases. As part of the agreement, MIT will provide funding for the preventive and clinical research, marketing and global licensing of products that are developed through the relationship, while Mevlabs will be responsible for field and clinical research and production of samples for regulatory authorities to review. Other terms were not disclosed.

Pharmacopeia, of Princeton, N.J., will assist the World Health Organization's Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in its efforts to develop novel antimalarial agents. Pharmacopeia will receive funding to conduct medicinal chemistry research on compounds identified through WHO/TDR's drug screening program involving a network of centers in developed and developing countries. The goal of the project is to identify new lead series with the potential to become novel malaria drug candidates.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., of Montreal, said its UK-based subsidiary, ProMetic BioSciences Ltd, has achieved key performance milestones for its new MAbsorbent ligands targeted at the purification of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant antibody fragments. The performance of ProMetic's new ligands against set targets was validated in collaboration with seven antibody producer companies in the U.S. and Europe. The ligands are small synthetic molecules engineered to specifically capture and purify antibodies.

Speedel Holding AG, of Basel, Switzerland, said partner Novartis AG, also of Basel, received European Union approval of SPP100 (Rasilez) as a treatment for high blood pressure. The European Commission approved Rasilez alone or in combination with other high blood pressure therapies. The approval applies to all 27 EU member states, plus Iceland and Norway. SPP100 was approved in the U.S. by the FDA in March under the trade name Tekturna to treat hypertension both as monotherapy and in combination with other anti-hypertensives. SPP100 (aliskiren) is an oral direct renin inhibitor.

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