• Avexa Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, completed the first 24-week, double-blind phase of its Phase IIb trial of apricitabine in HIV, and patients have progressed into the open-label section of the trial to receive 800 mg of the drug twice a day as part of their daily treatment regimen for another 24 weeks. Results from the blinded phase are expected later this quarter, though the company reported that apricitabine continues to maintain a good tolerability profile.

• DiaDexus Inc., of South San Francisco, reported study results indicating that lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (LP-PLA2), a specific indicator of vascular inflammation, provides information over and above traditional risk factors to help identify individuals at the highest risk for ischemic stroke. Data from the prospective case study of 12,762 healthy middle-age men and women showed that the addition of Lp-PLA2, measured by the PLAC test from diaDexus, and C-reactive protein significantly improved stroke risk assessment by reclassifying 37 percent of the moderate-risk category, as opposed to relying on traditional risk factors alone to estimate risk. Results were presented at the Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology meeting in Baltimore. The PLAC test is a blood test that has been cleared for marketing by the FDA as an aid in predicting risk for coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke associated with atherosclerosis.

• Kamada Ltd., of Ness Ziona, Israel, received approval from the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products for its upcoming Phase II/III trials of the inhaled version of its alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) product in congenital emphysema caused by AAT deficiency. AAT for inhalation has been designated an orphan drug by both U.S. and European regulators. The injectable form of AAT is in Phase III trials in the U.S.

• Pharmaxis Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, reported that all 362 subjects have completed the efficacy phase of its global Phase III trial of Bronchitol in bronchiectasis. Participants received either Bronchitol or placebo for three months, and efficacy is measured by the drug's impact on mucus clearance, disease symptoms, cough severity, exercise capacity and lung function. A trial extension allows subjects to access Bronchitol for a total of 12 weeks to determine long-term safety, and that phase of the study is expected to be completed in 2008. Results from the efficacy phase are expected to be available later this quarter and, if positive, should enable Pharmaxis to seek market approval.

• SuperGen Inc., of Dublin, Calif., said collaborators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute and TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, Ariz., dosed the first patient in a Phase I trial of MP470, an oral, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The study is an accelerated titration dose-escalation study designed to determine safety and tolerability and to find the maximum tolerated dose in patients with advanced-stage solid tumors. The company also will assess pharmacokinetics and biomarker data to assist in designing follow-on clinical studies for the use of MP470 as a single agent and in combination treatment modalities.