• Accentia Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Tampa, Fla., said the Mayo Medical and Graduate Schools and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute were awarded a $2.4 million National Institutes of Health grant for a project titled "The Pathogenesis of Chronic Rhinosinusitis." The grant, in part, is to support identification of which antigens of the Alternaria fungus are responsible for the inflammation of chronic sinusitis. Accentia is the exclusive licensee to the Mayo patents covering the use of intranasal antifungals to treat chronic sinusitis using amphotericin B, and has extended its exclusive option with Mayo for worldwide rights to any and all other antifungals for CS through Dec. 6, 2008.

• Cytori Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, sold its Hydrosorb surgical implant product line, part of its MacroPort Biosurgery division, for $3.2 million to Kensey Nash Corp., of Exton, Pa. That line, which includes spine and orthopedic implants, now will be manufactured by Kensey Nash and will continue to be distributed by Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. The divestiture is expected to reduce Cytori's operation expenses and net operating loss, while bringing non-dilutive cash to enable further investment in the company's ongoing efforts in regenerative medicine. Cytori is working on stem and regenerative cell therapies for cardiovascular disease, reconstructive surgery and other indications.

• EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., said preclinical results of its Aurora kinase inhibitor ENMD-981693 demonstrated the product's activity against oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinases, including FLT3, c-Kit and CSFir, which are involved in the pathway of hematological cancers. Additional results from the in vitro studies demonstrated inhibition of a spectrum of targets linked to angiogenesis, including KDR (VEGFR2) and FGFR1. Those data were presented at the Protein Kinases in Drug Discovery Conference in Boston.

• ExonHit Therapeutics SA, of Paris, issued 400,000 new shares following the exercise of a tranche of the Paceo line signed between the company and Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking in October. The transaction raised gross proceeds of €3.4 million (US$4.6 million). Shares were priced at €8.53 each, and the issuance represents 1.5 percent of the company's share capital. ExonHit develops microarray technology aimed at analyzing alternative RNA splicing.

• Genmab A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, said it will become a member of the Copenhagen Stock Exchange's OMXC20 index as of June 18. That index comprises 20 of the most actively traded shares on the exchange and is revised biannually on the basis of turnover in terms of market value and liquidity on the basis of trading frequency.

• Genomic Health Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., signed an exclusive agreement with Medical Solutions plc,NULL, of Nottingham, UK, a health care and diagnostics business, to distribute the company's Oncotype DX breast cancer assay in the UK. Oncotype DX is a test that has demonstrated an ability to predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence and the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit in large portion of early stage breast cancer patients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• Immunicon Corp., of Huntington Valley, Pa., entered a research services agreement with New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. involving protein and molecular targets associated with circulating tumor cells. Financial terms were not disclosed. In a separate release, Immunicon said it is seeking to end its exclusive arrangement with Veridex LLC, a subsidiary of New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson. In a filing with the American Arbitration Association, Immunicon asked to terminate the companies' 20-year exclusive worldwide agreement to market, sell and distribute Immunicon's cancer diagnostic products, as well as for rescission of all licenses held by Veridex under that deal and compensatory and punitive damages based on "repudiation and fundamental breaches by Veridex" of its obligations. Immunicon alleges that Veridex failed to use its best efforts to market the cancer diagnostic kits. Immunicon is entitled to a 30 percent royalty on all product sales. Selection of the arbiter is expected to occur within 45 days, and an arbitration agreement must be completed within six months of the arbiter's selection.

• Novavax Inc., of Rockville, Md., said very low doses of its pandemic influenza vaccine provided protection against a lethal challenge of live H5N1 viruses. Data showed that two 0.6 mcg doses of the company's virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine - without the addition of an adjuvant - protected ferrets from challenges with live bird flu viruses. That dose is 25-fold lower than the average human dose for most seasonal flu vaccines and more than 100 times lower than other H5N1 vaccines against avian influenza. Results were presented at the International Conference on Avian Influenza in Humans meeting in Paris. Novavax plans to submit an investigational new drug application in mid-2007 to start human testing with the VLP-based H5N1 vaccine.

• Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, said the FDA approved Norditropin (somatropin [rDNA origin] injection) to treat short stature in children with Noonan syndrome, an autosomal dominant genetic syndrome often characterized by short stature, as well as congenital heart defects and unique facial features. Up to 80 percent of Noonon syndrome patients are believed to suffer from short stature. Norditropin has received orphan drug designation in that indication.

• Nventa Biopharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego, said it plans to consolidate its offices into its San Diego facility, closing its Victoria, British Columbia, operations, effective around June 29. That consolidation is the company's latest move to focus resources on HspE7, its lead compound in human papillomavirus-related diseases. Nventa is preparing to move the product back into the clinic and has completed the FDA review process for the Phase I trial.

• Sloning Biotechnology, of Puchheim, Germany, and Microsynth AG, of Balgach, Switzerland, signed a distribution partnership for Microsynth to exclusively market and sell Sloning's gene synthesis service, Slonomics, and the product family of mutant libraries, Slonomax, in Switzerland. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Transgene SA, of Strasbourg, France, expects to receive a milestone payment of €10 million (US$13.4 million) from Basel, Switzerland-based F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., triggered by the U.S. and European regulatory authorities' reviews of Phase III plans for TG 4001/R3484 (MVA-HPV-IL-2) in high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Under the collaboration agreement, Roche is responsible for ongoing product development. In addition to the €13 million up-front fee and the upcoming milestone payment, Transgene could receive up to €195 million for further development- and sales-based events in HPV-related indications and would be entitled to double-digit escalating royalties on product sales.

• VGX Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Blue Bell, Pa., formed a wholly owned subsidiary, BGX Animal Health Inc., to include the animal health intellectual property and technology gained in the company's recent acquisition of AdviSys Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas. Additionally, the new firm will have access to VGX's adaptive electroporation device, Cellectra, for all animal health applications. VGX AH's pipeline includes growth hormone-releasing hormone plasmid technology for major food and companion animals, such as Life Tide SW5, a GHRH porcine product.

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