• Coley Pharmaceutical Group Inc., of Wellesley, Mass., granted Dynavax Technologies Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., a nonexclusive license under its immunostimulatory oligonucleotide patent estate. The license covers commercialization of Dynavax's Heplisav, a hepatitis B prophylactic vaccine being evaluated in Phase III trials. Coley will receive a $5 million up-front payment and is eligible to receive up to $5 million upon regulatory approvals of Heplisav, as well as royalty payments on any resulting sales. The licensed patents relate to Coley's Toll-like receptor 9 agonist technology that induces antigen-specific antibody and T-cell immune responses when used in combination with vaccines. (See BioWorld Today, June 28, 2007.)

• Gene Network Sciences, of Cambridge, Mass., entered a research collaboration with M2Gen, a for-profit subsidiary of the Tampa, Fla.-based H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Financial terms were not disclosed. The agreement includes using Moffitt's clinical expertise with GNS's REFSTM (reverse engineering and forward simulation) software platform to develop next-generation cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. GNS will reverse-engineer computer models directly from Moffitt's patient tumor molecular profiling data. The models will be simulated to identify genes causally driving cancer progression and the relationships between those genes and endpoints such as recurrence and survival.

• Greystone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Fort Myers, Fla., engaged the Stanford Group Co. to explore strategic and financing alternatives for the commercialization of Greystone's PHI platform technology. Among the alternatives that will be weighed are out-licensing, development joint ventures and strategic sales. PHI is a synthetic compound for treating a number of skin and wound disorders. Products are sold under the company's brand name and by third parties.

• Inverness Medical Innovations Inc., of Waltham, Mass., completed its acquisition of Biosite Inc., of San Diego, for $92.50 per share in cash. Inverness outbid Beckman Coulter Inc., of Fullerton, Calif., for Biosite. (See BioWorld Today, March 27, 2007, April 6, 2007, and April 11, 2007.)

• Labopharm Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said it met with the FDA to discuss matters raised in the agency's May 30 approvable letter for the company's once-daily formulation of the analgesic tramadol. The company said the statistical analysis required by the FDA to achieve approval has been clearly delineated. If the existing data cannot satisfy those statistical requirements, the company would be required to generate new data through an additional Phase III trial. Labopharm shares lost 51 percent of their value on news of the approvable letter. (See BioWorld Today, June 4, 2007.)

• Medistem Laboratories Inc., of Phoenix, presented preclinical proof-of-concept data demonstrating the positive potential of its MDS-786 candidate drug for lung cancer. The presentation reviewed the ability of MDS-786 to induce a process called differentiation, in which tumor cells are coaxed into transforming into nontumor cells through the use of a placentally derived product. Findings were presented at International Society for Cellular Therapy meeting in Sydney, Australia.

• Merck Serono SA, of Geneva, said the European Commission granted marketing authorization to the fertility treatment Pergoveris for the stimulation of follicular development in women with severe luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone deficiency. Pergoveris is based on the combination of recombinant human FSH (follitropin alfa 150IU) and recombinant human LH (lutropin alfa 75IU), in a formulation that allows administration of both substances in a single subcutaneous injection. The approval applies to all 27 countries in the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Launches in the various countries are expected to start in the third quarter.

• Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irving, Texas, reported preclinical data showing that its lead cancer candidate, RTA 402, a synthetic triterpenoid, is effective at protecting against common toxicities caused by traditional cancer treatments. Results showed that when RTA 402 is given in combination with radiation therapy to rats bearing human lung cancer tumors, the drug protected noncancerous tissue from radiation damage while enhancing the antitumor effect of the radiation treatment. Data were presented at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

• Santarus Inc., of San Diego, and entered a deal under which it will co-promote products from Victory Pharma Inc., of San Diego. The deal relates to Victory's Naprelan (naproxen sodium) controlled-release tablets, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indicated for the treatment of a number of conditions, including arthritis and the relief of mild to moderate pain. Santarus expects to train its field sales representatives and to commence promotional activities in the third quarter. The deal is intended to leverage its existing commercial organization. Santarus will be paid a co-promotion fee based on sales its generates.