• Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Denver, said preclinical data on the use of Ceragenins showed the anti-infective technology could have applicability in ophthalmic applications. Specifically, in vitro studies showed benefit in use related to contact lens disinfectant solutions. Data were presented at the Asia-ARVO meeting in Singapore.

• Cerus Corp., of Concord, Calif., and its collaborators received two research grants to develop prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for hepatitis C virus and HIV. The vaccines will be based on the company's Listeria platform, which currently is being evaluated in a Phase I cancer trial. The amount of the grants was not disclosed, but the HCV grant was awarded by the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the HIV grant was awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

• GTC Biotherapeutics Inc., of Framingham, Mass., and PharmAthene Inc., of Annapolis, Md., entered an agreement under which GTC will provide process development and clinical supply manufacturing services for PharmAthene's Protexia program. Protexia is a recombinant form of human butyrylcholinesterase produced in the milk of transgenic goats. It is being developed as a pre- and post-exposure therapy for victims of a chemical nerve agent attack. Terms of the deal, which marked a relationship expansion, were not disclosed.

• MPM Capital LP, of Boston and San Francisco, closed its MPM BioVentures IV fund with $550 million of committed capital. MPM BioVentures IV intends to spread its investments among biotechnology and medical technology products, with 85 percent focused on biotechnology and specialty pharmaceuticals and 15 percent on medical technology, tools and diagnostics.

• QLT Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has agreed to dismiss its claims against QLT and Novartis Ophthalmics Inc., a Canadian unit of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG, for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,225,303. In exchange, QLT and Novartis will dismiss their counterclaims. QLT, MEEI and Massachusetts General Hospital also agreed to arbitration to resolve claims that researchers from QLT and MGH should have been named as inventors on the patent. The settlement does not affect a separate patent lawsuit brought by MEEI against QLT, which is ongoing. Last month, QLT agreed to pay $112.5 million to settle a patent infringement suit filed by TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill.

• Resverlogix Corp., of Calgary, Alberta, initiated a research program dedicated to ApoA-I production and its therapeutic potential for disorders that effect cognitive function such as Alzheimer's disease. It said there is evidence of a link between low ApoA-I/HDL and neurodegenerative diseases. The program will be developed at RVX Therapeutics, a wholly owned Resverlogix subsidiary.

• Samaritan Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Las Vegas, signed a service agreement under which India-based Advinus Therapeutics Ltd. will perform validating preclinical studies for Caprospinol (SP-233), the company's lead Alzheimer's disease drug. Advinus will work to confirm Samaritan's previous findings, which suggest that Caprospinol directly targets the amyloid peptide thought to be the cause of AD. Results of those studies will be used to expand Samaritan's investigational new drug application for upcoming Phase I trials.

• Stemagen, of La Jolla, Calif., acquired exclusive rights from the University of Pennsylvania to a patent that covers a technique for the development of uniparental embryonic stem cells. Stemagen has created uniparental embryonic stem cell lines, which are derived from the genetic material of an egg or sperm only, rather than a fertilized egg. The company also will sponsor a joint research program with the university to assess the viability of human uniparental cells in regenerative medicine. Terms of the patent license and research agreement were not disclosed.

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