• Advancis Pharmaceutical Corp., of Germantown, Md., changed its name to MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals Inc., and will change its Nasdaq trading symbol to "MBRK," effective with the start of trading today. That name change was completed pursuant to the company's jointly submitted permanent injunction and order with Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis Group of Oct. 27, 2006, in which it agreed to stop using the name Advancis by June 30, 2007.

• Albany Molecular Research Inc., of Albany, N.Y., entered a natural products-based drug discovery collaboration with Achaogen Inc., of South San Francisco, which will involve the use of AMRI's high-throughput screening capability to test samples from its natural product libraries against targets of interest to Achaogen. The collaboration will support Achaogen's work with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense. Under the agreement, AMRI would receive an undisclosed up-front payment and could receive milestone payments based on the achievement of specific development goals. Specific terms were not disclosed.

• Critical Therapeutics Inc., of Lexington, Mass., signed a definitive co-promotion agreement for Performist (formoterol fumarate) inhalation solution with Dey LP, which supercedes the binding letter agreement the two companies entered in March. Under the terms, Critical Therapeutics and Dey will jointly promote Performist in the U.S., and Critical Therapeutics agreed to expand its sales force to 40 representatives. Critical Therapeutics agreed to provide a minimum number of product details each month to a targeted group of physicians, in exchange for a co-promotion fee under a calculation based on retail sales of the Performist. The FDA approved Performist in May as a long-term, twice-daily maintenance treatment of bronchoconstriction for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

• Exact Sciences Corp., of Marlborough, Mass., expanded its license agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) to allow for broader distribution of Exact's DNA technology for colorectal cancer screening. Under the terms, Exact agreed to extend LabCorp's exclusivity period through 2010 in exchange for other terms, including Exact's right to also license the technology to select organizations and other commercial services laboratories. Prior to the amendment, Exact was eligible to receive up to $45 million in payments. In the new agreement, $40 million in potential milestone payments remains, all of which is payable to Exact upon achievement of significant sales thresholds.

• Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., entered a drug repositioning and development agreement with H. Lundbeck A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, to seek alternative paths for certain Lundbeck drug candidates that previously were discontinued or de-prioritized in clinical trials for reasons other than safety. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but call for milestones and royalties similar to those paid for development-stage in-licensing deals, discounted to account for Lundbeck's contribution as the compounds' originator. Gene Logic also retains the option to receive an exclusive license to any of the candidates for which it identifies a potential new use and that Lundbeck opts not to pursue, in which case Lundbeck would receive success-based milestones and royalty payments.

• J. Craig Venter Institute, of Rockville, Md., said its researchers announced results of work on genome transplantation methods allowing them to transform one type of bacteria into another type dictated by the transplanted chromosome. The work, published online in Science, outlines the methods and techniques used to change one bacterial species, Mycoplasma capricolum into another, Mycoplasma mycoides Large Colony, by replacing one organism's genome with the other one's genome.

• Lifeline Cell Technology LLC, of Oceanside, Calif., a wholly owned subsidiary of International Stem Cell Corp., said its scientists successfully created six human stem cell lines that appear capable of differentiation into any cell type found in the body using a method that does not require the use of fertilized embryos. The stem cell lines, called parthenogenetic stem cells (phESC), are created using donated oocytes, and can be created using a protocol that minimized animal-derived components, which might make phESC lines more suitable for potential clinical use. Findings were presented in the online edition of Cloning and Stem Cells Journal. The news pushed shares of International Stem Cell (OTCBB:ISCO) up 18 percent, or 45 cents, Thursday to close at $2.90.

• Lorus Therapeutics Inc., of Toronto, said the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved a proposed corporate reorganization as described by the company last month. The reorganization when completed will result in an $8.5 million investment in Lorus, subject to a $600,000 holdback and post-closing adjustments, not including the costs of the transaction. Shareholder approval for the deal was obtained Monday. Lorus expects the transaction to be completed by July 4.

• Martek Biosciences Corp., of Columbia, Md., said its board approved the sale of its Fluorescent Detection Products business for $900,000 in cash and a minority interest warrant position. The deal is expected to close this week. The buyer, Columbia Biosciences Corp. in Columbia, is a newly formed company founded and owned by Martek Chairman Henry "Pete" Linsert and six additional Martek employees working in the fluorescent detection area. Linsert will retire from his current position as chairman and no longer will be a part-time Martek employee. Martek Director Robert Flanagan has been elected to replace Linsert as chairman.

• Merck Serono SA, of Geneva, said the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued a positive opinion recommending marketing authorization of a new formulation of Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for relapsing multiple sclerosis designed to improve injection tolerability and reduce immunogenicity. The CHMP recommendation now will be considered by the European Commission, which will deliver its final decision on the marketing application.

• Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it expects a longer review period than originally anticipated for its abbreviated new drug application for M-Enoxaparin, and that news caused the company's shares (NASDAQ:MNTA) to fall $1.42, or 12 percent, Thursday to close at $9.90. In an SEC filing, the company said the review period for its application, submitted in late August 2005, was believed to take about 18 to 24 months; however, it now believes that the review will exceed that guidance. M-Enoxaparin, a generic version of the low-molecular-weight heparin product Lovenox (enoxaparin sodium, Sanofi-Aventis Group), is partnered with Sandoz NV, the generics business of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG.

• Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc., of Bothell, Wash., was advised by Nasdaq that its shares of common stock will trade under the symbol "NWBO," to reflect the effect of the company's 1-for-15 reverse stock split. As a result of the stock split, every 15 shares of Northwest Biotherapeutics' common stock were combined into one common share.

• Pegasus Biologics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., appointed Michael Will as CEO. He has worked for a number of years in the medical device industry. Privately held Pegasus is developing bioimplants for soft tissue repair, and wound cares for diabetic ulcers.

• PSivida Ltd., of Perth, Australia, entered an agreement with an undisclosed global medical device company to evaluate cardiovascular delivery of drugs using pSivida's drug delivery technologies. The agreement follows the expiration of a previous evaluation deal with the same company. Terms were not disclosed.

• Quantum Genomics Corp., of Jersey City, N.J., has partnered with Inserm, the French national institute for health and medical research, and the CNRS, France's national center for scientific research, as well as with the University Paris Descartes, to co-develop drugs for hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases. Under the terms, QGC acquires rights to use three patents and associated know-how. Inserm and CNRS will work on the physiopathology, chemistry and the understanding of the compound's mechanism of action, while QGC will handle preclinical and clinical development. The lead molecule, QGC001, is expected to enter clinical testing in 2008.

• TapImmune Inc., of Vancouver British Columbia, said it is completing a deal with the University of British Columbia for the acquisition of the Transporter Associated with Antigen Processing technology platform and patents. All financial terms have been met. The company, formerly known as GeneMax Corp., had been operating under an exclusive worldwide license from the university for use of the technology as an immunotherapy in the treatment of metastatic cancers deficient in the TAP molecule.

• Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Montreal, is selling an 80 percent stake in its wholly owned proteomics business, Caprion Proteomics GP, to a company formed by Great Point Partners LLC, of Greenwich, Conn. Under the terms, Thallion will retain a 20 percent equity interest in the newly created company, Caprion Proteomics Inc., which will acquire substantially all of Thallion's proteomics assets, including the CellCarta discovery platform, and will assume $22.2 million in long-term debt obligations from Thallion. The new company also will issue $4.1 million in secured subordinated notes to Thallion at an interest rate of 9.5 percent per annum. Martin LeBlanc will serve as president and CEO of Caprion Proteomics Inc., which will assume responsibility for the 35 employees specific to the proteomics business. The deal is expected to close on or around July 10, 2007. Terms of the agreement will entitle Thallion to receive 100 percent of any royalty payments and 50 percent of any milestone payments resulting from existing licensing agreements related to the proteomics business, and Thallion also secured rights to certain target candidates derived from the CellCarta platform for future preclinical and clinical development. Thallion was created in February through the merger of Caprion and Montreal-based Ecopia Biosciences Inc. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 21, 2007.)