• Celgene Corp., of Summit, N.J., plans to issue up to about 20 million common shares as a result of Standard and Poor's decision to include the company in the S&P 500 Index. The purpose of the offering, which would raise about $1 billion, is to partially meet index funds' anticipated demand to purchase shares when Celgene is added to the index, currently contemplated at today's close of business. The company said it would use proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital, capital expenditures, possible future licenses, strategic investments and acquisitions.

• EvoGenix Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, said the U.S. National Institutes of Health has selected the company to collaborate in the development of antibody therapies against a new cancer target, a small protein called PAMP that is believed to be a vital factor in angiogenesis. EvoGenix will provide tailored antibodies against PAMP and scientists at the National Cancer Institute will carry out testing and initial clinical evaluation.

• EyeGate Pharma, of Paris, secured a Series B venture round of $10 million led by Innoven Partenaires and co-led by Ventech, both of Paris. That brings the total venture investment in the company to $14 million, and EyeGate plans to keep the round open for potential U.S. venture firms interested in becoming part of the syndicate. The financing allows EyeGate Pharma to bring its clinical candidates for severe uveitis and glaucoma into the clinic in 2007 using its EyeGate II delivery system.

• InterMune Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., closed its exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Basel, Switzerland-based F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. for worldwide development and commercialization of InterMune's hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor program. Under the terms of the deal, signed last month, InterMune will receive a $60 million up-front payment, and could receive up to $470 million in milestones. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 18, 2006.)

• Microbix Biosystems Inc., of Toronto, entered an agreement to exclusively provide urokinase to Angiogen LLC, of Evanston, Ill., to commercialize the latter's new technology for treating solid cancers with such a drug therapy. Microbix has a new production site with the capacity to generate commercial quantities of urokinase. Phase I is expected to be complete in 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Tercica Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., said its partner Ipsen SA, of Paris, submitted a new drug application for Somatuline Autogel (lanreotide acetate) injection 60 mg, 90 mg and 120 mg in acromegaly, and the FDA is expected to determine within 60 days whether the submission will be accepted for review. Tercica gained exclusive rights to sell Somatuline Autogel in the U.S. and Canada in a deal announced in July that also provided Ipsen exclusive rights to sell Tercica's short stature drug, Increlex, in all areas of the world, excluding the U.S., Japan, Canada, Taiwan and certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa. (See BioWorld Today, July 20, 2006.)

• The J. David Gladstone Institute in San Francisco and Whitehouse, N.J.-based Merck & Co. Inc. agreed to collaborate on the research and development of drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, that are linked to apoE-regulated mechanisms in the body. The deal provides Merck, through an affiliate, with a worldwide, exclusive license to compounds directed to apoE-regulated pathways, and establishes a four-year research collaboration with a team at Gladstone. Financial terms include a $3.25 million up-front payment to Gladstone, which also would be entitled to milestone and annual license fees, as well as royalties.

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