• Ark Therapeutics Group plc, of London, said the European Patent Office has granted it a patent covering the use of agents that affect the angiotensin-renin system for the prevention and treatment of stroke, triggering a milestone payment from Ark's existing licensee,Boehringer Ingelheim, of Ingelheim, Germany. The patent covers 23 molecules that are angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, many of which are in late stage development or are marketed for stroke. Ark said the patent may open the way to further licenses with other companies.

Bracco Imaging SpA, of Milan, Italy, and ImaRx Therapeutics Inc., of Tucson, Ariz., entered a cross-license agreement. Bracco Imaging got worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive rights to certain microbubble compositions for use solely in targeted diagnostic imaging applications. ImaRx got worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive rights to certain microbubble compositions for use solely in therapeutic applications. Terms were not disclosed.

• Circassia Ltd., of Oxford, UK, has appointed Richard Sykes chairman of the board. He succeeds Charles Swingland, who held the post of executive chairman following creation of the company earlier this year. Swingland will remain as deputy chairman and general counsel. Sykes is former chairman and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline. He currently is rector of Imperial College London and serves as chairman of the UK Stem Cell Foundation and chairs London's Council for the Advancement of Science and Industry.

GNI Ltd., of Tokyo, and BioBase GmbH, of Wolfenbuttel, Germany, formed a technology and business alliance. They will further develop and market Cell Illustrator 3.0, a biological illustration and biopathway modeling software tool that was developed by GNI and the University of Tokyo. BioBase will develop an interface to connect Cell Illustrator to its biological database, which should provide users easier access to pathway information and the ability to use the simulation function.

• Helsinn Healthcare SA, of Lugano, Switzerland, and partner MGI Pharma Inc., of Minneapolis, said the FDA accepted for filing the supplemental new drug application for Aloxi (palonosetron hydrochloride) injection. The sNDA seeks approval for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Aloxi already is approved by the FDA for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately and highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy and for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy.

• Ipso Ventures plc, of London, the quoted intellectual property commercialization specialist, made a further investments in two of its spinout companies, Therakind Ltd. and Intelligent Woundcare Ltd. Ipso is putting £300,000 (US$604,257) into Therakind, a pediatric drug development business, which was spun out from the school of pharmacy at the University of London in October. The company was established in response to new European legislation on pediatric medicines that aims to increase the availability of drugs that have been evaluated clinically in children. According to the European Commission, between 50 percent to 90 percent of all medicinal products used in pediatrics have never been studied or authorized for use on children. Therakind's first product is a nasally administered formulation of diamorphine, for pain control. Two relatively small clinical studies will be required for regulatory approval. Ipso Management invested an initial £120, 000 in October 2006 and, following this latest investment, will hold 50 percent of Therakind. At the same time, Ipso said it is putting £270,000 into Intelligent Wound Care Ltd., a spinout from Imperial College, London.

Kreatech Biotechnology BV, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, licensed a labeling technology to Agilent Technologies Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif. The technology is expected to optimize Agilent's array-based comparative genomic hybridization platform for DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples. The method is based on Kreatech's Universal Linkage System non-enzymatic direct labeling technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medivir AB, of Stockholm, Sweden, said Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, terminated development of the preclinical HIV compound MIV-170 because it did not meet the desired profile. MIV-170 is a polymerase inhibitor that Medivir licensed to BMS in September 2006. Medivir already had discontinued development of that product and others from the class. Under the deal with BMS, Medivir received an up-front payment of $7.5 million and was eligible to receive up to $97.5 million in development and regulatory milestones, plus double-digit royalties on resulting sales.

• Oxford BioMedica plc, of Oxford, UK, signed a license agreement with Children's Hospital in Boston, extending its existing rights for the anti-angiogenesis genes endostatin and angiostatin, in the treatment of cancer using gene therapy. Oxford BioMedica previously licensed the endostatin and angiostatin genes for use in RetinoStat a treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration, which is expected to enter clinical development in 2008. Under the terms of the new license agreement, the company will make an up-front payment, milestone payments and royalties on sales.

Panagene Inc., of Daejeon, South Korea, licensed the right to sell PNA monomers from the Copenhagen Inventor Group. The agreement allows Panagene to synthesize, manufacture and sell peptide nucleic acids monomers for use by researchers. Panagene previously had obtained an exclusive worldwide license under CIG's patents to PNA custom synthesis. PNA are mimics of DNA designed to have properties that confer advantages in certain applications.

• Photopharmica Holdings Ltd, of Leeds, UK, announced the successful completion of a Phase II placebo-controlled trial using topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of microbial disease in wounds. The trial of PPA 904, a member of the phenothiazinium family of photosensitisers, showed that a single PDT treatment achieved a statistically significant reduction in the bacterial load of chronic leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers compared to placebo. Further analysis showed that several types of bacterial species were killed, including MRSA. In addition, there was evidence of a treatment effect on ulcer healing. For the leg ulcer group, four of eight patients on active drug achieved complete healing within three months, whereas only one of eight patients achieved complete healing in the placebo group.

Rosetta Genomics Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, said research published in the journal Molecular Cell by scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Rosetta suggested the potential for a specific, single microRNA (miR-34a) to be used as a drug candidate in cancer therapy to increase programmed cell death in the context of the potent tumor suppressor p53. In the study, activation of p53 in vivo in mice as well as in cultured human cells induced the expression of a specific microRNA (miR-34a). Based on the likelihood that miR-34a could itself play a role in cell, has been awarded a €1.87 million (US$2.5 million) government grant to further develop its diagnostic and pharmacodiagnostic protein biomarker discovery and validation platform. The grant will be used to expand its capability to identify low abundant serum protein biomarkers. Pronota said it plans to couple the discovery phase of the biomarker platform to a novel validation platform, making it possible to simultaneously assess the levels of a significant number of candidate biomarkers in large patient populations without the upfront requirement to generate antibodies and develop immunoassays.

• Transgene SA, of Strasbourg, France, said Bryan Garnier & Co., of Paris, the sole lead manager and bookrunner for the capital increase it launched on June 11, exercised in full the 15 percent overallotment option granted to it. Its decision raised the number of new shares issued by Transgene by more than 715,000 to nearly 5.5 million, and boosted the final gross proceeds of the capital increase to €100.1 million.

• Vivalis, of Nantes, France, announced that the lead manager and book-runner for its IPO on Eurolist Compartment C of the Paris Euronext stock exchange, Natixis, of Paris, has decided to exercise in full the over-allotment option offered to it. Natixis thus acquired 571,218 Vivalis shares at a cost of slightly more than €6 million. It boosted the total value of Vivalis' IPO to €46.4 million and means that 30.7 percent of the company's capital is now in free float.