• Arpida Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, reported positive results from its first Phase III trial of iclaprim, showing that the primary efficacy endpoint of statistical noninferiority compared to Zyvox (linezolid, Pfizer Inc.) in the clinical cure rate at the test-of-cure visit in patients with skin and skin structure infections. Data from the ASSIST-1 study showed that the overall clinical cure rates for the intent-to-treat population of 497 patients were 85.5 percent and 91.9 percent iclaprim and linezolid, respectively. For the clinically evaluable patients, the cure rates were 93.8 percent and 99.1 percent for iclaprim and linezolid, respectively. A second Phase III study, the ASSIST-2, is ongoing. Arpida said it is on track to file a new drug application in 2007.

• Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., said preliminary study results indicate that patients using Synvisc (hylan G-F 20) through a single-dose regimen achieved a statistically significant improvement in pain from osteoarthritis of the knee over 26 weeks compared to placebo. The trial was designed to evaluate a more convenient dosing of Synvisc, which is approved for delivery through three intra-articular administrations given at one-week intervals. Based on the results, Genzyme plans to submit the new information in the first half of 2007 to request an amendment to Synvisc's product label in the U.S. and Europe.

• Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, is starting Phase I trials of LGD 4665, an oral, small-molecule drug designed to mimic the activity of thrombopoietin. That product was selected from a group of oral TPO mimetics synthesized at Ligand, and the company retains exclusive worldwide rights. Potential targets under consideration for advanced development include idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemias, platelet dysfunction associated with hepatitis C and chronic liver disease and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.

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