• Acambis, of Cambridge, U.K., is losing its CEO Gordon Cameron and embarking on a restructuring to cut costs by 20 percent. The moves follow the company's failure to win a share of the $1 billion contract to supply the U.S. government with MVA smallpox vaccine, suitable for children and people with weakened immune systems, and delays in negotiating a warm base manufacturing contract to maintain the full-strength ACAM 2000 smallpox vaccine stockpile. Cameron, who has spent more than 10 years at the Cambridge-based company, will be replaced by Ian Garland in June. Garland is currently CFO of Arrow Therapeutics Ltd, and recently oversaw its acquisition by AstraZeneca plc for $150 million. Acambis has started the restructuring, with the aim of cutting costs by around 20 percent over the next two years. This will involve reducing the 260-person workforce by 15 percent. The moves, costing £3 million, will result in savings of approximately £7 million per year by 2008.

• Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware returned a verdict in favor of Affymetrix in its patent infringement suit against Illumina Inc., of San Diego. The jury found that Illumina's arrays, scanners, software and related products infringed on one or more claims of five Affymetrix patents. The jury found that the proper royalty rate was 15 percent, and awarded total damages of more than $16 million for the period of 2002-2005, Affymetrix said. It said the next phase of the trial will occur later this year, and is expected to focus on the validity of Affymetrix's patents and whether Illumina's infringement was willful. Affymetrix also requested injunctive relief, which will be taken up at the conclusion of all phases of the trial. Illumina said it planned to appeal the verdict, and noted that the jury rejected Affymetrix's request for lost profits and awarded less than half the total damages sought by Affymetrix.

• Algeta ASA, of Oslo, Norway, is seeking NOK200 million (US$32.6 million) and NOK250 million from its forthcoming IPO on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company is offering up between 3.92 million and 6.1 million shares at an indicative price range of NOK41 to NOK51 per share. Another 588,000 to 915,000 shares will be made available to cover overallotments. The bookbuilding period opened March 12 and runs through March 23. Shares are expected to begin trading on March 27. ABG Sundal Collier ASA and DnB NOR Markets, both of Oslo, have been appointed joint lead managers, while Terra Securities, also of Norway, is co-lead manager.

• Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Ecopia Biosciences Inc., both of Montreal, said their shareholders approved a previously announced merger of the two companies to form Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Thallion will advance Ecopia's Phase I/II cancer drug ECO-4601 and Caprion's Phase II cancer drug CAP-232, as well as Caprion's pivotal-stage antibody for Shigatoxin-producing E. coli infections, Shigamabs. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 21, 2007.)

• Cellzome Inc., of Boston, received the first milestone payment from partner Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., of Raritan, N.J., which selected a lead compound from the gamma secretase modulator program. The companies signed a collaboration and license agreement in May 2005 to develop an oral therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease. The deal was extended for a further year in January.

• Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., added an addendum to its 2006 financial results to reflect its public accounting firm's doubt about the company's ability to continue operations due to a lack of cash. As of Dec. 31, 2006, Emisphere reported $21.5 million in cash and equivalents, which it anticipates will sustain operations through September 2007. The company said it is currently evaluating financing options that would allow it to continue developing oral formulations of injectable drugs. Shares (Nasdaq: EMIS) fell 11 percent, or 50 cents, on Tuesday to close at $4.07.

• Genetic Technologies Ltd. (GTG), of Victoria, Australia, granted a nine-year license to its non-coding DNA patents to Sciona, of Boulder, Colo. GTG is Australia's largest genetic testing laboratory, while Sciona provides personalized genetic tests in the United States. Terms of the license were not disclosed.

• GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London, gained FDA approval to market Tykerb (lapatinib), in combination with Xeloda (capecitabine), for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose tumors overexpress HER2 and who have received prior therapy including an anthracycline, a taxane and trastuzumab. Tykerb is a small-molecule inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase components of the EGFR (ErbB1) and HER2 (ErbB2) receptor. Approval was based on the pivotal Phase III trial in 399 patients that showed that the median time to disease progression was 27.1 weeks with the combination treatment vs. 18.6 weeks for capecitabine alone in women with advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer whose disease had progressed following prior treatment.

• GTC Biotherapeutics Inc., of Framingham, Mass., agreed to provide PharmAthene Inc., of Annapolis, Md., with an expanded license to patent rights that will support the further development, manufacturing, regulatory approval and commercialization of PharmAthene's Protexia program. The agreement includes rights to use GTC's transgenic technology. Protexia, a recombinant form of human butyrylcholinesterase product in the milk of transgenic goats. It is in development as a pre- and post-exposure therapy for military or civilian victims of a chemical nerve agent attack. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Integrated Genomics, of Chicago, was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop methods to improve the bio-production of butanol. Butanol currently is produced from petroleum feedstock. Integrated Genomics is trying to produce higher yields of butanol by reducing the effect of solvent toxicity on the production microbes. Details of the grant were not disclosed.

• Kedrion SpA, of Lucca, Italy, and ProMetic BioTherapeutics Inc., a subsidiary of Montreal-based ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., formed an alliance to develop orphan drugs derived from human plasma using ProMetic's manufacturing process, the Plasma Protein Purification System. They plan to select specific proteins that can be manufactured into drugs that either have received orphan drug designation or have the potential to receive it. The PPPS technology, which was co-developed with The American Red Cross, can be applied to the recovery of certain proteins that have established therapeutic value but cannot be extracted effectively via current manufacturing practices, or that are not the focus of large plasma fractionators. ProMetic and Kedrion will share in any revenue derived from the sales of commercialized therapeutics. They initially will target Europe. Specific terms were not disclosed.

• Neose Technologies Inc., of Horsham, Pa., closed its previously announced private placement, which resulted in gross proceeds of about $43.3 million. The company sold about 21.42 million shares and warrants to purchase 9.64 million shares, at $2.02 per unit. Each unit consists of one share and a warrant to purchase 0.45 shares of common stock. The warrants have a term of five years and an exercise price of $1.96 per share. New and existing investors participated in the private placement. (See BioWorld Today, March 12, 2007.)

• Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co. of Danbury, Conn., has established a $24 million senior secured credit facility which it expects to finance its drug development program until late 2008. The credit facility consists of a $12 million term loan, and the right to borrow up to an additional $12 million at any time through Sept. 15, 2008. No warrants or other equity components are included, and the interest rate is fixed based on the one-month LIBOR rate at draw plus. The financing was arranged through Merrill Lynch Capital.

• Point Therapeutics Inc., of Boston, received a Nasdaq letter indicating that the company failed to comply with the minimum bid price requirement for continued listing because its stock closed below the minimum $1 per share for 30 consecutive business days. The company can regain compliance if its shares close at $1 for 10 straight days before Sept. 4, 2007.

• Redpoint Bio Corp., of Cranbury, N.J., completed a reverse merger with Florida-based Robcor Properties Inc. The merged firm will focus on the Redpoint business, which is discovery and development of novel taste enhancers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Redpoint previously was named Linguagen Corp. Concurrent with the closing of the merger, Redpoint and Robcor raised $20 million in a private placement. Funds will be used for Redpoint's research and development activities and working capital purposes. In the placement, Robcor issued about 24.7 million shares of common stock at $0.81 per share, along with warrants for the purchase of about 6.2 million shares at $1.35 per share. Following merger and financing, Robcor had about 62.6 million shares outstanding.

• Viral Genetics of Azusa, Calif., has restructured the terms of $2.4 million of convertible debentures acquired by various investors in March 2006. Under the terms, $830,854 of outstanding principal and interest has been converted into 10,385,673 shares of common stock through exchange of debt and exercising of warrants. The conversion price of the remaining principal and interest of $1,584,890 is fixed at $0.08 per share. Holders will receive approximately 5.4 million warrants with an exercise price of $0.15 per share expiring February 2012 in exchange for canceling unit purchase warrants that had previously entitled the holders to acquire approximately $1.8 million in additional principal amount of debentures.

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