• Adventrx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, entered an agreement with Hyaluron Contract Manufacturing, of Burlington, Mass., to manufacture ANX-514 (docetaxel emulsion) for preclinical and clinical studies. Adventrx intends to seek FDA guidance regarding a 505(b)(2) regulatory path for the product, and following appropriate clearances, will initiate a marketing-enabling trial of ANX-514 later this year. The product is a nano-emulsion formulation of the cancer drug docetaxel that is designed to eliminate the need for multiday immunosuppressant premedication.

• Ambit Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, expanded the panel of kinases available in its KinomeScan kinase profiling system from 256 to 315. KinomeScan forms the basis of Ambit's collaborations with Cephalon Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., GlaxoSmithKline plc and others. Ambit said it used the technology to screen nearly 7,000 compounds during the three months ending in February and is in Phase I trials with its own kinase inhibitor derived from the technology.

• Amphion Innovations plc, of New York, said one of its partner companies, Motif Biosciences Inc., raised $1 million in a Series C financing. Amphion, which owns 42 percent of Motif, invested $400,000 in that round. Motif is in the process of raising up to $3 million in capital and anticipates that it will conclude additional financing rounds in the coming months. A population genetics company, Motif focuses on discovering genes causing common diseases by using human genetic data from the Persian/Arabian Gulf region. The latest financing round will support the company's research in the areas of Type II diabetes and asthma.

• Aureus Pharma, of Paris, licensed its AurSCOPE Knowledge databases to Bayer CropScience, of Monheim, Germany. The databases contain quantitative biological activity data related to various protein targets including G-Protein Coupled receptors, ion channels and kinases, which are important in fungicide and insecticide development. Financial terms were not disclosed. Last June, Aureus licensed its ion channel database to Xention Discovery Ltd. for small molecule discovery.

• Corcept Therapeutics Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., said a Nasdaq panel granted the company's request to be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market, effective with the opening Monday. Corcept satisfied all requirements to transfer from the Nasdaq Global Market to the Nasdaq Capital Market. Its trading symbol will remain "CORT." The stock gained 19 cents Thursday, or 15.7 percent, to close at $1.40.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, received a €1.7 million (US$2.3 million) European Commission-funded grant, which was awarded to a consortium of nine universities and companies working in the field of influenza research. The funds will support preclinical and clinical testing of H5N1 vaccines.

• Exagen Diagnostics Inc., of Albuquerque, N.M., filed for FDA review of eXagenBC, the first of six products in its pipeline. EXagenBC is a DNA-based test designed to identify the risk of recurrence in breast cancer patients and allows physicians to predict prognosis outcome. The company, which develops genomic marker-based in vitro diagnostic kits, aims to provide tests that can be performed and analyzed at any qualified laboratory, which Exagen believes will result in lower costs, reduced complexity and faster turnaround time of results for physicians and patients.

• Immunicon Corp., of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., and Kreatech Biotechnology BV, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, are expanding their January 2006 research collaboration related to centromere probes, which involved the use of Immunicon's technologies with Kreatech's Universal Linkage System. Under the new exclusive, cross-license agreement, Immunicon provided rights to Kreatech to use certain technologies to improve existing Kreatech products and to manufacture and supply those products for sale by Immunicon in North America. In addition, Immunicon agreed to make an equity investment of up to $1.5 million in Kreatech based on the achievement of certain development milestones.

• Intranasal Therapeutics Inc., of Montvale, N.J., appointed Peter Young president and CEO. Young previously served as president and CEO of AlphaVax Inc. Intranasal raised a $39 million Series A in August 2006 to fund development of nasally delivered versions of generic drugs, including late-stage trials with butorphanol spray for acute migraine headache episodes and hydromorphone spray for acute pain.

• MediGene AG, of Martinsried, Germany, entered a collaborative research program with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to develop monoclonal T-cell receptor drugs to prevent the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells at the onset of type I diabetes. JDRF will provide funding over the two-year collaboration to complete proof-of-concept preclinical studies and begin clinical trials.

• ProFibrix BV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, and Bioceros NV, of Utrecht, the Netherlands, entered a collaboration to establish a platform for production, purification and characterization of fibrinogen. Bioceros, a contract research organization, will work to generate and test new proteins for use in ProFibrix research and development programs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Schering-Plough Corp., of Kenilworh, N.J., said the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration approved Pegintron (peginterferon alfa-2b) for chronic hepatitis B virus. Pegintron is not approved in the U.S. for HBV, but has been available in China since 2004 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, and is FDA-approved for HCV.

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