• Ardana plc, of Edinburgh, UK, announced preliminary results from a Phase II study of its lead development compound, a GnRH antagonist Teverelix in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), showing the product induced symptomatic improvement from as early as week two and the duration of the effect appeared to last around eight weeks. The study was a Phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigating the effects and safety of two different doses of Teverelix when administered as a single subcutaneous injection to 84 treatment na ve patients. Further analysis of data is ongoing.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, The Netherlands, said the European Union awarded a grant to its subsidiary toward the development of a malaria vaccine. The €1.7 million (US$2.2 million) grant was given to a consortium of four leading groups in the field of malaria research including Etna Biotech, a fully owned Crucell group company in Catania, Italy. The malaria vaccine will be based on Crucell's recombinant paramyxovirus technology.

• Digilab BioVisioN GmbH, of Hannover, Germany, identified candidate biomarkers for lung cancer using its Peptidomics Differential Peptide Display (DPD) technology platform in the first phase of a collaboration with Abbott Molecular Inc., of Des Plains, Ill. As a result, Abbott exercised its right to evaluate option candidate markers for further use and retains an option to acquire an exclusive, royalty-bearing license from Digilab to such candidate markers.

• ImmuPharma plc, of London, raised more than £4.71 million (US$9.2 million) through the issue of 4.4 million shares priced at 62 pence each and an interest-free unsecured bond with warrants. The funds will be invested in the company's clinical and preclinical pipeline, which includes IPP-201101, a long-term treatment for lupus. That product is set to start Phase II/III trials in 2007.

• MorphoSys AG, of Martinsried, Germany, said the antibody collaboration with Pfizer Inc., of New York, slated to end in 2008, has been extended until the end of 2011. Pfizer has the option to begin new therapeutic antibody projects with MorphoSys resulting in an increased level of programs to be performed within the collaboration. As a result, the potential value for MorphoSys in research funding and potential developmental milestone payments increases to more than $100 million, not including royalties. The extension triggers a one-time payment from Pfizer to MorphoSys. Further financial details were not disclosed.

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