• Ambrilia Biopharma Inc., of Montreal, underwent a 1-for-10 reverse split of its common shares, consolidating its outstanding stock from 280 million to 28 million. The stock trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Ambrilia is focused on oncology and infectious disease.

• Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Malvern, Pa., plans to reallocate resources to its lead development project, AA4500, after discontinuing the development of the current formulation of TestoFilm, its investigational testosterone replacement transmucosal film for hypogonadism. The company has determined that its formulation does not meet certain aspects of the target product profile and would not be commercially viable. The company expects to begin a second Phase III trial of AA4500 for Dupuytren's contracture by the end of this year.

• Depomed Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., obtained an exclusive sublicense to the use of gabapentin for menopausal hot flashes from PharmaNova Inc., of Rochester, N.Y. Depomed, which is testing its own gabapentin formulation in a Phase III trial for post-herpetic neuralgia and a Phase II trial for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, expects to use those data to accelerate a clinical program for hot flashes. PharmaNova received a $500,000 up-front license fee and is entitled to milestone fees and royalties on gabapentin sales for hot flashes. The U.S. patent in this indication is held by the University of Rochester.

• Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., the Medicines for Malaria Venture in Geneva and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard expanded their collaboration around new malaria therapeutics. In addition to co-funding and co-managing the effort with Genzyme and the Broad Institute, MMV also will work with the partners to secure additional resources to expand the program further. Currently, there are four early discovery projects in the portfolio, and all resulting intellectual property will be made available to MMV on a royalty-free basis for use in developing and distributing new malaria drugs.

• ImmunoGen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., signed a nonexclusive license with Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis Group for the rights to ImmunoGen's resurfacing technology for use in humanizing antibodies. In exchange, ImmunoGen will receive a $1 million license fee and milestone payments potentially totaling $4.5 million, as well as future royalties. The agreement extends a deal signed between the two companies in 2003 that related only to the humanizing of certain oncology antibodies.

• PharmAthene Inc., of Annapolis, Md., was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Research Network to support continued development of its broad-spectrum chemical nerve agent therapy, Protexia. The product is a recombinant form of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), a naturally occurring protein found in minute quantities in blood that functions as a natural bioscavenger to absorb toxins, nerve agents and certain pesticides before they can cause irreversible neurological damage and death. Protexia is being developed as a pre- and post-exposure therapy for military and civilian victims of a chemical nerve agent attack.

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